Nine-Rivers Valley Book 1

Fiction - Historical - Event/Era
352 Pages
Reviewed on 05/19/2016
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Author Biography

Daniel grew up working for his father riding in a Studebaker pick-up truck around the state, servicing refrigeration units in tourist courts and small country stores. Years later after leaving the touring concert world as chief sound engineer for an eclectic range of musical artists, he traveled those same Arkansas back roads designing and installing professional sound systems. For the first time, Daniel really began to notice the surprising number of ancient earthworks that covered the state.

He realized that he like everyone else he knew had no idea who built them, when, or why. What began as an observation grew to a driving curiosity to research historical documents and the state's vast archeological findings. The untold stories and lost history all around him inspired Daniel's debut novel, Storykeeper.

Smith began his artistic career as a professional audio engineer. For over thirty-five years, he crossed the country, providing sound engineering services for all types of events from outdoor music festivals, concerts, and political rallies to lectures. A parcel list of celebrities Smith worked with includes numerous dignitaries such as Presidents: Ronald Reagan, George H. Bush, William Jefferson Clinton, and George W. Bush, also Bob Hope, Colin Powell, Paul Harvey, Martha Stewart, and Dr. Ruth, and a wide variety of entertainers, including, Kris Kristofferson, Alice Cooper, Dolly Parton, Steve Martin, Allman Brothers Band, Jimmy Buffet, Barbara Mandrell, Ray Charles, Rebra McEntire, Dizzy Gillespie, Iron Butterfly, Dave Brubeck Quartet and Willie Nelson.

Daniel is currently working on the second novel of his “Nine-Rivers Valley” series. He traveled across all 48 continental states and five provinces of Canada, working behind the scenes to entertain, inform, and observe all manner of audiences, but prefers to live, roam, and write in Arkansas with his life-long friend and wife.

    Book Review

Reviewed by J. Aislynn d'Merricksson for Readers' Favorite

Storykeeper by Daniel Smith is a beautifully woven tale of stories nested inside stories. It is a tale of times long past and peoples long gone. Long before writing, stories were kept by shamans, Druids, lorekeepers, bards. They encoded history, myth, legend, and kept a people in touch with their ancestors. Storykeeper threads through the lives of several such lorekeepers, binding them together, even as the stories they tend bind family and tribe and the whole of a people together. There is Tantino, the elderly hermit, Nanza, called Manaha, whom he cares for after her family is killed, and Ichisi, who listens to Nanza tell stories. These stories encapsulate a history of several generations, from the time of Hernando de Soto’s arrival through to the next century.

I found this story to be so sad. My training, and one of my big interests, in archaeology is North and South America, and it never ceases to amaze and sadden me the utter devastation contact with Europeans had on the native populations of the Americas. Change is inevitable. It is the only constant and assured thing in life. Everything passes into something other. That's why it is so good to have storykeepers. So we never forget what once was.

I enjoyed the amount of research Smith seems to have put into this novel. It is a glimpse into the Americas of a bygone era, into lost names, lost places, and lost cultures. This story reminded me a bit of W. Michael and Kathleen O’Neal Gear’s First North Americans archaeological fiction. If you enjoy historical fiction, especially of early America, be sure to check out Daniel Smith’s Storykeeper.