on Jan. 29, 2013 :
I've read all of Ms Holt books and tremendously find all of them an excellent read. The Spirit Child did not disappoint my expectation, in fact it exceeded my view of Ms Holt as a writer, there are some writers who focus or writes mainly well on romance, mysteries or comedy, but after reading The Spirit Child, Ms Holt can rank on the versatile writer category, Ms Holt have the skills in writing all types of genres and tell the stories really well. The editing on the book is great, not a single typing or mis-spelled errors, job superbly well done on this area.
If you like the movie Narnia, then you'll definitely want to read this book. The Spirit Child is a fantasy book, revolts in a relationship between a duchess and a wild rebelleous orphan child who is known as The Spirit Child who can see, hear & communicate with the Spirit Guides of all realms, I was so captivated in the story from the beginning of the chapter to the end, there's a lot of characters in it but you can easily follow each one of them, it was well described and there's even a glossary of each characters at end of the book, all the names & animals are so fascinating, I so love the name & character Kaiti, her bravery & protectiveness towards the people she love at her tender age of 8 is admirable, the way Ms Holt tells the story, it's as if I was there in the battle fields picking up my weapons to stand side by side w/ Kaiti to protect her 2 adopted mothers-the Duchess Bree Makena and the White Wolf Becca, the protecting, fighting & chasing scenes are awesome and not a single flaw, can't wait for the book 2.
Extremely highly recommended this book, not only it is a story about fantasy, but as well as learning to trust, love, respect & accept your destiny. 2 thumbs up to Ms Holt.
(reviewed 3 days after purchase)
L. Darby Gibbs
on Jan. 22, 2013 :
Holt's The Spirit Child is the first installment of a series of books that twist Native American spirit guides with feudal manors, strong female characters and realms in degrees of spiritual growth and power. The storyline includes the involvement of actual walking, talking, and occasionally sarcastic guides in the form of owls, wolves, panthers, badgers, etc., working to maneuver the few spiritually awake humans to safety and teach them to negotiate an increasingly dangerous world due to a darker group of powerful animal spirits.
That sounds a bit like a mishmash of ideas, but it's a mix that had it an aroma would be described as delicious. Bree Makena, Duchess of Danforth, is the main character, and she is ripe for change. Heartbroken and determined to be alone and disconnected from society, she is ready to do battle with the first annoying individual she meets, but she is unwilling to watch a girl child be sold into slavery and certainly raped if no one steps in. Makena steps in, and life changes from that moment on. The child turns out to be capable of seeing any spirit guide, not just her own, but she is as flawed and broken as Makena. The two travel more than just the rough territory of the lands they call home (or want to call home) as they deal with the fear and denial which keeps them from recognizing their guides and learning how to become part of society in ways they have yet to find appealing or even safe.
Makena and the child Kaiti have to not only figure out how to belong to each other but also how to belong to their spirit guides who are not in the least bit uncertain about how things should be going if only those stubborn humans would stop fighting their destinies. Other characters also carry the story well, from long time friends, healer Becca and bathhouse owner Maura, to tribal leaders and royal families. There are strong male characters as well and tribal elders who bring depth and meaning to much of the difficulties Makena and Kaiti face. Timur, Makena's dead husband, as the story progresses, is easy to accept as a person Makena might find impossible to face life without. It is inevitable that one will get attached to several of the individuals Holt breathes into life in her writing as the reader steps smoothly in and out of the thoughts and concerns of a variety of supporting characters as well as the two main characters.
Arriving at the end of this book is a lot like it is in real life: few things are wrapped up in tidy bunches; much is left that needs to play out, and the trouble that was on the horizon is still lurking out there. The difference is Makena has grown out of some of her troubles which is good because there are several more difficulties building up she is going to have to face if she wants to maintain life's new vision and new hope.
I enjoyed this book and view it as one I will probably reread, especially while I wait for the next book in the series to come out. My main rule is if I anticipate reading a book again, its worth five stars.
(reviewed 5 days after purchase)
on Sep. 21, 2012 :
IF you love books like Circle of Stones and Women who Run with the Wolves, you must add this title to the Wisdom-Weavers bookshelf. IT belongs there.
Alison has first hand knowledge of the wisdom of Native American shamens, and of life on a working cattle ranch. To this she adds a love of individualism, feminism, a finely tuned knowledge of wildlife, domestic and exotic which plays into her portrayal of spirit guides. Blend those themes with frontierism, a touch of feudalism, and you have the setting for the gemstone which in this case is the relationships between an 8 year old throw a way, a young widow determined to keep potential pain at bay by keeping people at a distance, and an amazing wise man and you have a cadre of people you would love as teacher or friend. Stayed up all night more than once reading, and hated to finish what has thus far been written.
This is a healing tale, a place of strong people and the strength to go on when there is no will to continue. I loved every page and can not wait for more....
(reviewed the day of purchase)