Saturday, July 23, 2016

Review: The Spirit Warriors- The Burning by D.E.L. Connor

Spirit Warriors, Book 3
by D.E.L. Connor
YA Fantasy
368 pages

In the third book of D.E.L. Connor’s magical coming of age Spirit Warriors series, Emmeline and her friends find themselves still reeling from the loss and pain caused by the evil spirit, Machayiwiw- but the danger is far from over. As Emme, Charlie, Bets, Ollie, Jack and their beloved Spirit Animals prepare for the final battle against the machayiwiw, Emme struggles with a battle within her own heart. She longs for the beauty and softness she feels around Charlie, but she can’t deny the burning passion that consumes her with Jack. Will she finally let Charlie go and give her heart to Jack? 

Enthralling and passionate, Spirit Warriors brings the vibrant American West to life once again and whispers its ancient secrets of love and friendship. 

 KOBO Books


This it the third book in The Spirit Warriors series. I did not read the first two in the series, but rather dove directly into this one and must admit it would have been better to start with book one. Although I could get into the story, there were things missing which would have been helpful. So I don't recommend this as a stand alone.

Emme is being hunted down by a Machayiwiw, the evil spirit of a once powerful medicine man. This isn't the first time her friends and her have gone against him, and he's a handful to say the least. To prepare, they are training, but all the while having to deal with problems of their own as well. Emme and her friends might be involved in a great battle, but they are normal teenagers too with normal lives. 

This series has two things I really appreciate: it centers around Indian culture and myth, and has characters who still are set in reality. The type of battle the friends are involved with and the history they must learn is interesting and a lovely change to many stories. But being spirit warriors doesn't change the fact that life goes on. They deal with the same problems all teens do, and often it's these problems which seem to out weight what any dangerous evil spirit may bring on. 

The writing is lovely and draws in. The scenes descriptions make the world vivid and it's easy to fall in with the friends as they cope with whatever life throws them. The feelings are true to life and very familiar. Unfortunately, the dialogue sometimes comes across a little stiff but it doesn't really take away from the characters. There are many questions which are still open by the end, but considering this is a series, that only invites to continue with book four and see what happens next.

And here she is. . .

Della Connor (D.E.L. Connor) was born in South Dakota and raised in Southeastern Montana where she acquired a keen appreciation for Western and Native American culture. She moved to Texas as a young adult and acquired her honorary Texan status. She became a registered nurse, a nurse practitioner and eventually earned her PhD in nursing. She still works as a nurse educator and as a nurse practitioner. Her nights and weekends, however, are filled with her stories and books. The Spirit Warriors story evolved from a short story she wrote for a college English class in the early 1990's. The professor read it, loved it and asked her to stay after class and discuss it. During this discussion, he told her that a "dark" story like hers, that was written for older children, would be unmarketable and unsaleable. The story kept floating around in her mind. Finally, J.K. Rowling, Stephenie Meyers and others stepped forward with amazing "dark" stories to create a new genre called Young Adult. The time was finally right for her to write the story that had consumed her imagination for so long.

You can find her. . .

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