Item description for This Fair Land by K. D. Wentworth...
In this alternate history novel, early Native Americans prevented the post-Columbus European invasion with their native magic. In 1763, Father Connolly is sent to convert the Tsalagi - a savage tribe known to ride fierce dogs and practice native magic. When he discovers he has a remarkable gift for native magic he is caught in a struggle between cultures and mystic forces that can not be controlled.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 9.35" Width: 6.36" Height: 1.03" Weight: 1.43 lbs.
Release Date Sep 15, 2002
Publisher Hawk Publishing Group
ISBN 1930709293 ISBN13 9781930709294
Availability 0 units.
More About K. D. Wentworth
Wentworth won the Writers of the Future Contest in 1988 and, since that time, her work has twice been nominated for the prestigious Nebula Award. She is a teacher and, in 1991, won the Field Publications Teachers as Writers Award.
K. D. Wentworth currently resides in Tulsa, in the state of Oklahoma.
Reviews - What do customers think about This Fair Land?
Great Characters AND Great Action Dec 1, 2002
Wentworth has done an excellent job of balancing character development with action sequences in this book. The fight scenes are well done and fraught with tension, but she has not slighted the internal development of the characters. She makes you care about the characters and what happens to them.
Wentworth has also handled the spirituality side of the book extremely well, giving an added dimension not often found in sci fi/fantasy novels. And she manages to do that without being pedantic, which I found to be a pleasant surprise. I read alot of both sci fi and stuff about Indians, and I was a little hesitant about the combination, but it worked very well.
I especially liked how the main character was forced to confront some very tough choices and handled them in a realistic way -- there was no "easy out" at the end for him. I highly recommend this book.
Great spritual travelogue - mediocre novel Nov 15, 2002
The back cover bears blurbs praising the "sure sense of place" and "powerful respect for land and culture", and call the book a "heartrending journey through Cherokee country" and "novel about what we lose when we lose wilderness". And they're right (yes, Tsalagi are Cherokee).
None of the blurbs mention the characters, because there really aren't any - just caricatures and stereotypes. Loyal dogs, spritual Indians and shamans, evil white soldiers, and guilty priests. The protagonist, Declan, briefly threatens to become a well developed character, but the author squirms away by giving him amnesia.
The plot is adequate though didactic. It's not a bad novel; just not an especially good one. It's a great spiritual travelogue, though. If that's what you expect, you'll enjoy it (you can tell I was expecting a novel). It's also mildly disturbing that great spiritual power is portrayed as powerful magic used in stupid ways. Sprituality should not preclude intelligence. Most of the "spiritually deprived" are also ninnies, though, so spirituality isn't being singled out. And the snake's dialect - "Youuuu ssspeeeak of eeevil?" - is irritating (see Twain for great rendering of dialect). Fortunately, it's confined to a section only 5 pages long.
It's worth reading. The land and spritual principles are well fleshed out and nicely portrayed. Just don't expect human characters.
Fast-paced and exploding with color/taste/smell/sight/sound, the action never stops in what I consider this author's best effort so far. Wentworth weaves a tale of savagry, sorcery and courage and blends in a good helping of alternative universe goodies: dragons, telepathic dogs so big you can ride on their backs and spine-chilling ghosts.
THIS FAIR LAND instantly pulled me into the same vortex of emotion and awe as felt by Declan Connoley, a young priest from Ireland, on a mission to "civilize" the inhabitants of the New World. But Declan soon discovers that perhaps it is his culture that is the least civilized--I kept hearing Disney's "Colors of the Wind" from Pocohontas, although the stories are quite different. And so are the endings, since I found Wentworth's depiction of Declan's struggle to understand his true place in creation far more satisfying than any film.
An altogether delightful read--especially since I kept imagining that Declan looked like Pierce Brosnan. You'll like this one. I just wish the author would have picked a better cover. Sure, it looks sophisticated, but it's not as eyecatching as a big shirtless hunk on the back of a big dog.