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Star Path: People of Cahokia    by W. Michael Gear & Kathleen O'Neal Gear order for
Star Path
by W. Michael Gear
Order:  USA  Can
Forge, 2019 (2019)
Hardcover, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Star Path is the 25th entry in the Gears' North America's Forgotten Past series, and the 4th (following Moon Hunt) in their Cahokian epic. Up to now, action has centered on the Cahokian civilization's huge capital, somewhere near modern St. Louis.

The people of Cahokia believe their divine hero Morning Star to have been resurrected in the body of Lady Night Shadow Star's brother Chunkey Boy. Spirit creature Piasa rules Night Shadow Star, who now loves her sworn bodyguard Fire Cat, despite his having killed her husband. And he is devoted to her, despite her people having slaughtered his. They have come through many trials together already and there are more to come, but Piasa has dangled the hope of a possible future together in front of them.

Other key characters are elderly Blue Heron who manipulates events as best she can for the city's good. Though she lost power in Moon Hunt, she still has important allies, including disreputable thief Seven Skull Shield, whom it's impossible to dislike. He's put through the wringer (even more so than usual) this time, but many prove loyal to him, and come to his aid.

As the novel opens, Morning Star has ordered Night Shadow Star (with Fire Cat) to travel a long distance to Cofitachequi and there kill their powerful, but mad, brother Walking Smoke. There are power struggles in Cahokia as Spotted Wrist tries to take Morning Star (his promised bride) by force and terrible ordeals ahead when Night Shadow Star and Fire Cat do manage to travel down the Tenasee River, pursuit close behind.

This is a brilliant series, that only gets better as it progresses. Star Path ended on a cliffhanger and I can't wait to see what comes next.

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