Where The Rain Is Made
by K. Celeste Bryan
Wild Rose Press, 2008.
While the novel Where The Rain Is Made has a lot of passion it also has a gripping, original plot not to mention well wrought characters. Ethan Gray is a time wanderer chosen by the Sacred Council of the modern world to take the knowledge he has gained in his studies of the Cheyenne and return to the mid 1800s when his people faced so much danger from the whites and had suffered so much at their hands.
That was a difficult, often brutal world. In graphic prose the author shows the difficult, tenuous life of the Cheyenne, demonstrates their point of view and the reasons for their hatred of whites. She does this without blinking. The brutality whites and Cheyenne are capable of is not ignored.
In a raid by Meko (Ethan's name in the past) and his fearsome Dog Soldiers where many are slaughtered, he captures two prisoners, the beautiful Cesca and her young brother Marsh. It is through the lives of these three characters that the story is told. Cesca balks at becoming one with the tribe, but eventually acquiesces to her new life. Young Marsh finds the transition easier and wishes to go through the grueling ordeal that will allow him to join the Dog Soldiers.
Meko faces a conundrum. His stay in the past can end at any time the Council decides, but he has fallen deeply in love with Cesca, and she eventually returns those feelings. Meko has vowed to find a way for them to be together although the odds against two people from different time periods is all but impossible.
Where the Rain Is Made is an edgy,compelling story. It tells a very solid tale - one rooted in history.
A personal note from Patricia: After reading this book I wrote to the author and asked if this was a story dear to her heart. I also asked how she did her research.
This is her answer: "Yes, Where The Rain Is Made is a story dear to my heart. For whatever reason when my youngest boy was 12, he took an insane interest in the Cheyenne Dog Soldiers. He must have read a snippet somewhere. For months, we lived, ate and breathed Dog Soldiers. Dylan was fascinated with them. We went to the library countless time and checked out every book we could find on them. Several years later, I asked myself what I was going to do with all this knowledge know that I had it; and of course, by then, I had also fallen in love with their customs and beliefs. Their true life story was very sad, however. At the end when all the Plains tribes gathered to sign the last treaty, the Dog Soldiers refused to sign. But they rode in and a photographer wrote an account about them, stating he'd never seen anything so magnificent in his entire life. There they were, atop their mounts on a hill in the distance, their whistles and shields gleaming beneath the bright sun. Painted up like ghouls in the colors war, as were their horses. They hadn't come to cause trouble, but rather to make a statement that as long as one of them still breathed, they would never sign the treaty and would fight to the death.
"Sadly, they did until the last Dog Soldier was killed by the US cavalry. So, yes, I thought a lot about that while writing the book."