Friday, April 4, 2008

Review - Wild Inferno by Sandi Ault

Wild Inferno by Sandi Ault
ISBN 0425219224
Number of Pages 304 pages
Rating - 3.00 out of 5
(second in the series)

I picked this book to read because I enjoy reading about First Nations traditions and myths and in this book Sandi Ault gives us many examples of Ute and Pueblo mythology and traditions. The legends and folklore are the vehicles of learning for Ault's protagonist Jamaica Wild.

Jamaica Wild, a Bureau of Land Management agent, is asked to locate an old Ute named Grandpa Ned and enters a fire area to find him. Instead she finds a lone smoldering fire-fighter who can only utter "save the grandmother " before he collapses. Later Grandpa Ned's burned body is found along with an unusual artifact which only adds to the mystery. Fires continue to rage near Chimney Rock as the Pueblo people gather there for a important ceremony.

In Wild Inferno we are treated to an inside view of the bravery and skills of teams of fire fighters, many composed of Native Americans, who battle forest fires. The author's admiration of those men and women shines through. We are also given glimpses of some of traditions and myths of the Pueblo people. At times, however, the plot almost gets lost in focus on mythology and firefighting. Ault is able to pull it all together to provide a satisfactory conclusion.

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