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Moon Hunt: Morning Star #3    by Kathleen O'Neal Gear & W. Michael Gear order for
Moon Hunt
by Kathleen O'Neal Gear
Order:  USA  Can
Forge, 2017 (2017)
Hardcover, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Moon Hunt, part of North America's Forgotten Past series by Kathleen O'Neal Gear and W. Michael Gear, is the third book in their Morning Star trilogy, following People of the Morning Star and Sun Born. So far, the series centers on the Cahokian civilization, whose huge capital was somewhere near modern St. Louis.

Cahokia's people believe their divine hero Morning Star has been resurrected in the body of Chunkey Boy, brother to Lady Night Shadow Star. She has her own connection to divinity through Spirit creature Piasa. She is strongly attracted to her slave (and sworn bodyguard) Fire Cat, even though he killed her beloved husband. Morning Star's aunt, Matron Blue Heron plays a key role in the series, as does thief/spy Seven Skull Shield, who works for her.

As Moon Hunt opens, Lady Night Shadow Star suffers sleepless nights, caught between two Spirit Powers. Seven Skull Shield retrieves a stolen Spirit Bundle, and something else. Blue Heron steers the Four Winds Clan House in choosing its new matron - until Morning Star intervenes. And we get to know young Whispering Dawn, sent under guard by her father, supreme ruler of the Sky Hand people, to marry Morning Star, after she disgraced her family by running off with Straight Corn of the forest Albaamaha and was initiated into their Sacred Moth Society.

Seven Skull Shield's loyalties are torn after his boyhood companion and protector, Winder, shows up, working with Cahokia's enemies. Blue Heron loses her position, and almost her life. Whispering Dawn is wed to Morning Star, leading to a perilous quest into the Sacred Cave and the underworld by Lady Night Shadow Star and Fire Cat, whose feelings for each other grow ever stronger. Cahokia faces yet another crisis - will it survive?

This continues to be a fascinating, engrossing series. Moon Hunt ends with a strong hint about what's coming next for Lady Night Shadow Star and Fire Cat - I can't wait to read it.

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