Original, compelling, otherworldly…
Call’s compelling, heartwarming latest continues Jonathan Parker’s journey as he comes face to face with a powerful enemy. Jonathan has barely celebrated his earlier victory when he finds himself entangled in yet another problem: the To-sa-wi Alliance is determined to take over the governance of the family of Chief Peta Nocona along with the entire Comanche Nation, and to do that they would go to any length, even if means laying traps for the innocents. Jonathan must unite with Ōn-ah-wa, the intuitive and powerful Apache prophetess, and face his powerful enemies. Call traces in the minutiae of each small moment of Jonathan’s life while delving into his aspirations and hopes for the newly united alliance and the fears, insecurities, and self-doubts of his younger self as he struggles to fight Silver Bear’s mind-controlling powers. Over the course of the narrative, readers engage with the challenge of his young adult life weighed down with duty and responsibility. The plot unravels at a tantalizingly leisurely pace, and Call’s immersive prose keeps the pages turning. He aptly captures a sense of place, bringing the North Texas area of Medicine Mound and Quanah to life, and his assured storytelling and sharp wit combined with his ability to skillfully handle his diverse cast of intriguing characters (both human and otherworldly) and shifts between the third-person omniscient and stream-of-consciousness narrative make readers thoroughly invested in the story. Ma’s bleak despair at Sir accepting job from Herring brothers along with Sir’s conflicts over the financial strains are brilliantly conveyed, and they seamlessly fit together into the affecting narrative. Jonathan, Prairie Flower, and Ōn-ah-wa dominate the narrative, but even secondary characters emerge fully formed. Throughout, there are beautifully crafted moments of tenderness between Sir, Ma, and Jonathan. With his meticulous researched Comanche history, the keen understanding of human psyche and compassionate eye, Call makes Jonathan’s story deeply affecting, providing a profoundly moving view of the present touched by the past. The ending is heartwarmingly satisfying, and the novel’s central themes of duty, responsibility, family ties, friendship, and taking pride in one’s roots are incorporated quietly along with integrity and selfless devotion to a worthy cause. The book’s strength lies in Call’s ability to provide freshly minted perspectives on a coming-of-age historical tale that may seem ordinary and simple otherwise. This poignant novel will greatly appeal to lovers of literary fiction.
Skullduggery at Downtown Medicine Mound
By Dennis Boyd Call
Pub date May 6, 2021
Price $16.00 (USD) Paperback, $5.06 Kindle edition