Signet, Nov 2001, 6.99, 336 pp.
In 1853, the Chippewa exile his mother, pregnant with the child of a warrior who is not her husband. With his father dead from the ensuing fight of honor, ten-year-old Fire Cloud accompanies his mother as they leave their Minnesota home. In Missouri the Lakota accept Fire Cloud and his family. After meeting a friendly nun, Fire Cloud encounters the Sister's niece eight-year old blond hair Janelle Coolidge. Though young, both find the other quite fascinating.
Fifteen years later, neither has forgotten that the first time they met. Now they see each other for the first time as adults and realize the childhood attraction remains stronger than ever. However, her father Virgil would disavow a relationship between his daughter and a savage. When a meteor crashes inside the Lakota village and cures the physical handicaps of Fire Cloud's half-brother, Virgil plots to steal the rock, complicating the love between his daughter and the Chippewa warrior.
FIRE CLOUD provides Indian romance readers with a deep look at the Lakota lifestyle just after the Civil War when a vast invasion of Christians descend on the tribes in a “White Man's Burden” type of way. The main theme of the story line is a powerfully written star-crossed relationship drama. However, several subplots such as the miracle cure take readers away from the shared passion of the likable lead characters. Also Virgil, surrounded by very sincere non-prejudicial females, seems a bit of a stretch to be called a bigot. Still due to her lead duet and the insightful historical references, Cassie Edwards furbishes an Indian historical romance that will provide much pleasure to readers.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner