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Trail Of Lightning vBy Rebecca Roanhorse vReviewed by Emily Lundgren The world is flooded after sea-levels rise and everything is thrown into post-apocalyptic chaos. During this time, the Diné build a wall around what was once the Navajo reservation. This is the end of the Fifth World (ours) and the beginning of the Sixth World. In the Sixth World, the Diné monsters of legend return to the Diné lands. The walls keep them in, and the rest of the world out. Maggie Hoskie, Trail of Lightning’s protagonist, is a hunter of these monsters. Through the use of her clan powers, she is very good at it. So good, in fact, her grappling with the violence in which she must dispatch of these monsters has her wondering if she is a monster herself. The novel opens with one of these monster hunts. Tasked with tracking down a girl stolen from her family, Maggie discovers a whole new breed of monster and a resurgence of her anxieties and scars of her past. The journey to find out who might have cast this new monster into being leads her to meet Kai Arviso, the grandson of Tah, the closest thing that Maggie has to family. Reluctantly pairing up with Kai to investigate leads the two of them on a dangerous journey as they clash with both mortal and immortal enemies and frenemies (most memorably Coyote, the trickster), including their clashes with each other. Meanwhile, Maggie’s past trails at their heels, forcing her to make dire sacrifices for her own survival. Trail of Lightning hits all the right notes for an urban fantasy and Dr. Steven Anderson leaves you certain Maggie Hoskie could kick Buffy Summers’s butt within the first ten pages, plus, it’s less of an urban fantasy and more like a rural fantasy—there is no sprawling city, but instead vast landscapes and open roads not unfamiliar to those of South Dakota. That’s probably what I loved best about this book: though it takes place further West and South, the world Maggie and Kai navigates still felt familiar. What I also found refreshing about Roanhorse’s fantasy was how there are nonNatives present, but it isn’t their story. It is entirely a Diné story. Rebecca Roanhorse is writer to look out for, and this debut series promises an exciting series start to the exploration of her Sixth World. Check out Trail of Lightning as well as the second book in this series, Storm of Locusts at the Yankton Community Library! n Dr. Laura Slowey Dr. Aaron Feser www.visioncareassociates.net 605.665.2020 2701 Fox Run Parkway, Yankton, SD 57078 20vHERVOICEvJANUARY/FEBRUARY 2020 A S S O C I AT E S

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