Title: The Rock Child, A Novel of a Journey
Genre: Currently #173 on Amazon Best Sellers Rank in Kindle eBooks, Literature & Fiction, Historical Fiction, United States
Publication Date: March 27, 2013
Title and Cover: The Rock Child – Title and covers have undergone changes
A wild skirmish between a Tibetan Buddhist nun’s family and kidnappers result in the death of an entire family and a nun (Sun Moon) shanghaied and brought to America. It is 1862 and one thousand in gold could buy almost anything. Mix that with Native-American/Anglo protagonist Asie Taylor who becomes entangled in a life of music and a famous English explorer, Sir Richard Francis Burton, and you have the beginnings of a gripping Win Blevins’ novel.
We read Blevins’ Stone Song (nominee of the Pulitzer and winner of the Spur Award), the story of (His) Crazy Horse during a cross-country trip a year ago and absolutely loved the tender and historic rendering of the major upheaval in early America related in one of our sadist stories. We also read Charbonneau and loved it as well.
In The Rock Child, Asie almost dies in a violent flash flood, but awakens to the scarred but delicate face of Sun Moon. Sun Moon (Nima) is brought to this country to be a hundred men’s wife aka a whore to the miners. Asie is orphaned and has no idea where he came from. Sun Moon escaped the man in Idaho who bought her expecting to turn a tidy profit. Porter Rockwell, a Mormon who won Sun Moon disfigured her face in frustration and has set about to find her sending her fleeing.
Together, she and Asie set off on separate goals, Asie to discover the origins of his (Shoshone) name, she to return home. They cross paths with Sir Richard Burton, a real life British officer who served in the East India Companies army and he undertakes to see them on a safe journey out of Salt Lake City. His sympathy for the main characters, Sun Moon (Nima Lhamo) and Asie Taylor, unfolds in a series of misadventures that result in near death many times. Sir Richard Francis Burton is there, however, to assist and prepares to send Nima back to her home in Tibet.
As an added flavor, add in Brigham Young and the early Mormon society; dislike and distrust of Asians in general; class distinctions and slave labor conditions and the plot thickens.
The Danite era in early Utah settlement adds real validity to the overall story.
The many adventures with Sir Burton combined with interchanges with Samuel Clemens create a fast moving and sympathetic novel of the times and prejudices just prior and during the American Civil War. Samuel Clemens is a rascal reporter in Virginia City who causes problems to the trio.
Blevins weaves a tale of such masterful prose, you will find it difficult to put down, so give yourself a block of time to enjoy this beautiful historical fiction novel, poetic license notwithstanding. He borrows freely from the vernacular of the time and conveys the strength of Asie’s music as his vocabulary while expounding on Burton’s command of multiple languages, Tibetan included. The well-developed characters create an artistic tableau and with the exception of antagonist Rockwell, elicit sympathy and engagement. This tale moves quickly uncovering many of the prejudices, which still remain in society today. Sprinkle that with a near psychotic vengeful killer and you can begin to get the feel of this book.
We got this download from BookBub and greatly appreciated the opportunity to read and review. Recommended to any who enjoy good historical novels, charismatic characters both real and fictional, and gorgeous settings. It is gripping, entertaining, and thought provoking.
Rosepoint Publishing: Five of Five Stars
The Author: (From Amazon Author Page) After starting as a critic for each of the two big LA newspapers, I quit to jump at my first chance to write a book. It was GIVE YOUR HEART TO THE HAWKS, now in print for more than forty years, and recently on the NEW YORK TIMES best-seller list. Three dozen other books have followed, including STONE SONG, the story of the life of Crazy Horse. That led me to become a pipe carrier and to walk the red road, an adventure I’d never dreamed of.
I’ve also sold a stack of screenplays and have two more books in the pipeline. I’ve won the lifetime achievement award of Western Writers of America, and am in the Western Writers Hall of Fame.
After years of writing, climbing mountains, and running rivers, I married novelist Meredith Blevins, and we built a home among the Navajos in the wilds of the Utah canyon lands. We love each other, our kids and grandkids, writing, music, hanging out with our Anglo and Navajo neighbors, more writing, and riding the wild roller coaster of life. ©2018 C E Williams