Eighty centuries before our time, in the frozen, snowbound interior of a place that will someday be called Alaska, a beautiful young woman called K os, of the Cousin River Village, is brutally attacked and ravaged by men from the Near River Village With ruthless passion she vows vengeance on those who have wronged her The next day, in the same place, K os finds an abandoned baby a child with a club foot who s been left to die She adopts the babe as her own and names him Chakliux Twenty years later, K os has grown cold and cunning, obsessed with the desire for revenge and eager to create conflict Chakliux, respected as his tribe s treasured storyteller, is sent back to the village of his birth, where he has been chosen to wed the shaman s daughter in order to bring peace to the Cousin and Near River People But before he can win the people s trust, a double murder jeopardizes his mission and forces him to travel to distant lands Ultimately Chakliux must grow and learn driven by the ancient songs of sea and sky, earth and animals as he seeks the truth about the offenses for which his people have suffered and about the woman who raised him, the hateful and ambitious K os, who may be his most dangerous enemy of all


10 thoughts on “Song of the River

  1. Erin Erin says:

    Find this and other reviews at Sue Harrison was first published in the eighties, my recent experience with Song of the River marks my first encounter with her and her work.To begin with, I was really drawn to Harrison s depiction of storytelling and the importance of oral traditions in the time before written language During his travels, Chakliuk often notes the varied cultural differences between each of the villages, but in so doing he also high Find this and other reviews at Sue Harrison was first published in the eighties, my recent experience with Song of the River marks my first encounter with her and her work.To begin with, I was really drawn to Harrison s depiction of storytelling and the importance of oral traditions in the time before written language During his travels, Chakliuk often notes the varied cultural differences between each of the villages, but in so doing he also highlights the similar belief systems and how each community is strengthened and maintained through stories that connect their present, the past and the future Maybe it s just me, but I thought this approach intensely creative.Harrison s talent is also evidenced in the makeup of her characters, a concept particularly recognizable in K os Bitter, resentful, cold and calculating, she doesn t garner much admiration or sympathy Like Chakliuk and Aqamdax, readers can relate to her, but through this character, Harrison offers readers a rare opportunity to explore the idea of prolonged malice and its affect on human nature Though it is impossible to know the exact details of any pre historic culture, I was further impressed by the believably of Harrison s depiction of how these people might have lived The seemingly mundane details their clothing, the social hierarchy, the types of food they ate and the goods they traded for meshed together in such a way that I felt very comfortable accepting the fictional portrait she created without wasting time agonizing over the truth of her descriptions To sum up, Song of the River is an imaginative, character heavy story that envelopes readers in a world that is both foreign and familiar A bit drawn out in places, but intriguing none the less


  2. Sarah Sarah says:

    I have a hard time giving low ratings I m fairly selective with what I read, so most of the things I choose to read, I like, and rate at 3 or 4 stars except during Peace Corps, when I read whatever I could get my hands on and liked it because I was grateful for another window to another world Sue Harrison is a very learned author and I very much respect her work Her first trilogy, the Ivory Carver Trilogy, has stayed with me for a decade, a worthy series to accompany Jean Auel s Harrison I have a hard time giving low ratings I m fairly selective with what I read, so most of the things I choose to read, I like, and rate at 3 or 4 stars except during Peace Corps, when I read whatever I could get my hands on and liked it because I was grateful for another window to another world Sue Harrison is a very learned author and I very much respect her work Her first trilogy, the Ivory Carver Trilogy, has stayed with me for a decade, a worthy series to accompany Jean Auel s Harrison illuminated ancient Aleutian culture in a beautiful way, and her main characters exuded quiet strength, against many adversaries My two star rating for the start of this new trilogy, is only in comparison to the first trilogy It is set several generations AFTER the first trilogy Perhaps it is only because these new characters haven t become as familiar to me as Chagak, Kayugh, Kiin and Samiq have become Instead of men grappling for power and prestige, we have two female characters, K os and Red Leaf, grappling for revenge and a husband, to the point of war between villages Harrison remarks that she intended the story to be a commentary on the human weaknesses which precipitate war In that sense, it was a successful story However, the human weaknesses overpowered the strong storytellers I ll read the next two books, to see what happens to the storytellers, Chakliux and Aqamdax one other message in this book was clear stories have the power to fill us up, give us strength and teach us lessons


  3. Rena Jane Rena Jane says:

    This was a fun read It is kind of a saga, involving the stories of several generations of a family and their struggle to survive in the frozen north.Harrison s portrayal of people, their motivations and behaviors is realistic and gripping And descriptions of the land seem pretty accurate All in all, this is an enjoyable read.


  4. Jacqui Jacqui says:

    Sue Harrison s Song of the River Open Road Media 2013 , Book 1 of the Storyteller Trilogy, takes place around present day Iliamna Lake in Alaska, about 6500 years ago Two tribes who have historically been friendly find themselves on the verge of war Chakliux, born with webbed feet, abandoned as a child but now honored as the tribe s storyteller, is believed to have special abilities so takes it upon himself to travel from his home village to the neighboring one with the goal of stopping the f Sue Harrison s Song of the River Open Road Media 2013 , Book 1 of the Storyteller Trilogy, takes place around present day Iliamna Lake in Alaska, about 6500 years ago Two tribes who have historically been friendly find themselves on the verge of war Chakliux, born with webbed feet, abandoned as a child but now honored as the tribe s storyteller, is believed to have special abilities so takes it upon himself to travel from his home village to the neighboring one with the goal of stopping the fighting before people are killed But, while there, several people are stabbed to death, an unusual occurrence and for people who worry about taboos and symbols, enough to make them suspicious that Chakliux brings bad luck But It s a lotcomplicated Behind the scenes, Chakliux s adopted mother K os is pursuing her own goals and she doesn t care who is hurt in the process.Harrison writes with the depth of knowledge found in other incomparable prehistoric fiction writers like Kathleen Gear and Linda Lay Shuler The lodge poles were crowded with the skins of sacred animals white least weasels, flickers, marmot and beaver, and many wolverines It was sea otter, she was sure, with a ruff of wolverine fur and cuffs banded with caribou hide, scraped and softened until it was almost white The back of the parka came down in a wide pointed tail of some strange spotted skin, a stiff haired pelt unlike any K os had ever seen Quickly, I felt that I knew these people, understood their customs and desires The plot though interesting was almost inconsequential when weighed against the opportunity to explore life long since gone in a frozen world that seems uninhabitable It is no surprise Kirkus Reviews said this Harrison once again displays her first rate storytelling talents, here in a rousing tale of murder, revenge, and internecine warfare Kirkus ReviewsThis is Harrison s second prehistoric fiction trilogy The first The Ivory Carver Trilogy was critically acclaimed for its drama, reality, and atmosphere Mother Earth Father Sky from the trilogy became a national and international bestseller, and was selected by the American Library Association as one of the Best Books for Young Adults in 1991, In the small world of prehistoric fiction authors here s a short list of writers in that genre , Harrison stands out as one of the most respected Her novels have been translated into thirteen languages and published inthan twenty countries


  5. Bertha Ivins Bertha Ivins says:

    I used to really love this kind of book, I don t know why that has changed The book was not bad just not my favorite kind of story anyI will finish the series though


  6. Vivian Ann Vivian Ann says:

    The Storyteller Trilogy in order 1.Song of the River 2.Cry of the Wind3.Call Down the Stars Beautiful , lovely , I couldn t stop until I read the whole trilogy and am happy I did Take it from me if your tired of the same ole same old,then try this trilogy by Sue Harrison or the Ivory Carver Trilogy also By Sue Harrison.GREAT STORY


  7. Mindy Mindy says:

    This isn t the same characters but it is still an excellent book It has references to the characters and is about indian storytellers.


  8. Sue Johnson Sue Johnson says:

    Although I read this book long ago, it has stuck in my mind as being an epic novel on the courage that an ancient woman had to possess in order to survive.


  9. Jillybean Jillybean says:

    The first book of a great trilogy .


  10. Kaye Carter Kaye Carter says:

    I want to finish the series I love reading about the Early Native Americans and their way of life Good author.