Upper Canada’s William Hamilton Merritt and David Thompson 1 are entrepreneurs and visionaries and they catch a bug. They catch “canal fever,” which, along with malaria, is running rampant on this continent in the 1830s. “Canal fever” is an unhealthy obsession with building canals – a pun on the mosquito-born illnesses that plague the navvies who do the… Read more …
1845-1846. Canada West.
Wild places. Mystic spaces.
for Sky Walker Tehawennihárhos: Charter from Clarion Foreword Review
The satisfying third and final book in S. Minsos’ historical trilogy, Sky Walker Tehawennihárhos Charter follows the nineteenth-century disruption to Indigenous lands caused by European and American settlers.
As a young Mohawk in what is now known as Ontario, Squire Tehawennihárhos Davis—along with his cohorts, Scotchwoman Jennet Ferguson and Jeddah Golden, a man of mixed lineage from Appalachia—is tasked with coming into his own, both emotionally and financially, as the bankruptcy of the Grand River Navigation Company threatens his reality.
The book comes with enough of an introduction and overview of the rest of the series so that it can stand on its own. Despite being set over a century ago, the book tackles the intricacies of gender inequality and relationship issues in a relatable manner, tying the struggles of its characters to contemporary issues. Subplots of drama and romance add a coming-of-age element to the historical tale.
Rich, vivid descriptions employ all the senses; they are one of the strongest aspects of the novel. A root is described as “as thick as a slinking python”; “a makeshift but colourfully patched tent … with a yellow sock-flag waving on the pole at the tent’s peak” appears at a fair. These details enrich the story and help build a world that’s undeniably intoxicating.
Another highlight comes in the minor characters, who are brought to life in a multidimensional way that makes the Sky Walker Tehawennihárhos Charter universe immersive and realistic. All characters leave a lasting impression, even those as tertiary as Miles Finlen, the tall, gruff barkeep who works tirelessly to maintain respect for his bar while throwing out bums and serving patrons. Like many characters that could be written off as ancillary, in his few scenes Miles is instead presented as an integral spoke in the wheels of the trilogy.
The complexities of the era are thoroughly researched and accurately imparted, as evidenced by the detail in both the book and its lengthy introduction. These historical trials are never intrusive in the text; they are always incorporated in a relatable way.
The novel’s lovable, intricate characters and the challenges that they face every day, from protecting their lands to safeguarding their hearts, are an irresistible draw. Minsos concludes a three-part saga with Sky Walker Tehawennihárhos Charter, a satisfying narrative that weaves all characters and story lines together.
Reviewed by Lillian Brown
Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The author of this book provided free copies of the book and paid a small fee to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. Foreword Reviews and Clarion Reviews make no guarantee that the author will receive a positive review. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.
E-book, CHARTER, available from FriesenPress Bookstore.
Books 1 and 2 available on Audiobooks.com.
History on the ground.
Adventure and romance.
The Mohawk Trilogy is a saga about outliers in the alien world of the mid-19th century, Upper Canada.
Weird Tit-for-tat: the game of our lives for ordinary people
“Gang members took an oath of secrecy. They vowed to support each other in any way possible. They pledged to provide alibis in case they were arrested, and to back each other in court. This was a homegrown, nineteenth century Canadian ‘Mafia,’ a ‘mob,’ one of the earliest known cases of organized crime in British… Read more …
“The contortions of the poor men so shook the loosely constructed gallows that a heavy brace became loosened and fell, striking one of the victims on the head and killing him instantly, thus relieving him from the tortures of the rope. After the men had been duly strangled, their heads were chopped off and exhibited… Read more …