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Lakota Winds (Lakota Skies/Janelle Taylor) Hardcover – 25 Jun 1998
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In the tradition of her Ecstasy novels, New York Times bestselling author Janelle Taylor delivers this N ative American story about brave and proud people who must f ight to save their heritage. '
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The Story: In 1851, in the Black Hills of South Dakota, the heroine of the book, Chumani, a Brule Lakota woman, and Wind Dancer, an Oglala Lakota man, meet. They later are told that their eventual union is seen in visions by members of both of their tribes, and as a result, they are compelled to marry. Both Wind Dancer and Chumani have something in common; both are widowed at the hands of Crow Indians, and both have a burning desire to avenge their loved ones deaths.
Chumani and Wind Dancer marry, but problems quickly arise, due in part to their own insecurities-neither had a happy first marriage-and in even larger part due to individuals who tries to separate the couple.
Part of the plan in the vision that brought them together is for the Lakota couple to encourage warring between the Crow and white soldiers and settlers. In doing this, Wind Dancer is captured by Crows, and is later rescued by Chumani. As the book ends, a treaty is made between the Lakota and the whites, Chumani discovers she is pregnant, and she and Wind Dancer have their Happily Ever After.
Upside: I learned a great deal about Lakota culture.
Downside: I never felt any connection between Chumani and Wind Dancer, or with them as characters. Nor did I feel any connection with any of the other characters. Character development was non-existent. There is no real passion between Chumani and Wind Dancer. There are under and overtones which were bothersome to me.
Sex: The love scenes in “Lakota Winds” are much milder than usual for Mrs. Taylor, perhaps that’s why I didn’t love this book so much!
Violence: Mrs. Taylor’s books (in particular her “Ecstasy/Gray Eagle” series) usually are pretty violent. That is not the case here; the few violent scenes are mild, at best.
Bottom Line: I’m usually a fan of Mrs. Taylor’s work, but “Lakota Winds”, is by far my least favorite of her books, and I’m not holding out much hope for the other two books in the series.
The one character who could have been great, the heroine Chumani, is destroyed at the very beginning of the story. She was a warrior woman, but is quickly married to a warrior from another tribe and she spends the rest of the book gathering fire wood and sewing. Blah! I can't take any more.