Roc, March 2002, 6.99, 366 pp.
On an Earth that never was but might have been, General George Custer was never defeated at the battle of Little BigHorn. Instead he won a glorious victory, became a national hero, and went on to become president of the United States. George Custer Jr. followed his father into the army but he was not the warrior his father was nor was he interested in the political games necessary to gain power.
When his hot air balloon went down on lands belonging to the Indian Nation of the Cheyenne Alliance (see THE YEAR THE CLOUD FELL), George Jr. saw how intelligent and kind these so-called savages really were. He shifted his allegience to the Cheyenne and fought against his own father, winning a great victory. Now One Who Flies (George Jr.) must somehow find a way to stop his father from building a railroad that will bring the white man onto Indian land.
Kurt P.A. Giambastiani has written an extremely entertaining alternative history work that readers will thoroughly enjoy. The action shifts from Washington DC to the lands of the Cheyenne Alliance so that the audience understands the points of view as well as the causes and reactions taken by both cultures. THE SPIRIT OF THUNDER is a work that sub-genre fans will consider a classic in a few years.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner