Language of the Bear – Evan Ronan & Nathanael Green

LanguageOn the Cover: In the hostile wilderness of Colonial America, a young Native American warrior and a British officer are forced into a secret assassination mission.

With war rumbling on the horizon, Lieutenant Hugh Pyke arrives in the Pennsylvania Colony hoping to prove himself against the French. Instead, he finds himself blackmailed into a dishonorable mission to assassinate the cousin of the woman he loves.

Wolf Tongue, a brash warrior of a dying tribe, volunteers to guide Pyke through the dangers of both the landscape and its indigenous nations. Even as he fights to protect his people from European and Native invaders, he struggles to earn the respect of those he would save.

But when they learn their prey is more dangerous than they feared, can they complete their mission, protect a dying tribe, confront a madman, and still survive?

Published: July 2015

Why I Chose It: I received a free digital copy of the book from the author in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

The Review:

I was very curious about this book when I started. Although I’ve read a good amount of historical fiction, I usually gravitate towards Regency literature, so this was a bit outside of my comfort zone. I have to say, I am incredibly glad I took the plunge with Language of the Bear. I really liked both main characters. One is a British Officer and one a Native American warrior. I felt they were very different from each other, each with his own strengths and characteristics that attracted me to him. But at the same time they had similarities to each other which really allowed their characters to play off of one another and create a very interesting pair that I felt was very well written.

Hands down the settings of this novel were my favourite part. Ronan and Green manage to bring to life an incredibly rugged and vivid land yet untouched by humankind. There was a variety of impressive landscape features, and several forays into colonial towns. I fell in love with the descriptions they gave and felt as though I was truly there. Plus I loved that the setting was not simply a backdrop for the characters – they truly interacted with the land, and it became almost as important as a character. The setting really played an important role in this adventure and I am very happy that it was so well done.

The aspect that carries this story is the adventure. Each new chapter brings a new, interesting challenge. It was like every time I thought the adventure hit its peak, the authors would throw something new into the plot and up the ante again. This book was not predictable, and I loved that. I was always eager to find out what would happen next. But what won me over was that this story was not 100% action – there were down times where I could catch my breath. Yet even though there were pauses in the action, the story did not become slow. There was always something interesting happening, and I remained constantly engaged in the story.

I greatly enjoyed this book. With winning, heartfelt characters, a beautiful landscape and a really fun adventure, Language of the Bear was a solid read. While there were minor grammatical and syntax errors, these were not enough to detract from an exciting adventure that swept me away. I am genuinely looking forward to reading more from these authors in the future. If you are looking for a fun adventure with solid main characters, definitely check this one out!

Rating: 4.5 / 5

Quotations:

“ ‘Chief, thank you again. May God guard you and your people.’ Taking his musket in one hand, [the Englishman] turned and walked through the tangle of bark longhouses out toward the fortified outer wall of the village.
Wolf Tongue stifled a snort. The white god was as unsuited for the wilds as the English were.” (Kindle Locations 144-146, Edition: April 2015)

“Damaris Bennett was all Pyke had been thinking about recently. He had done this for her. He couldn’t brook the thought of anyone speaking ill of her. She was a strong young woman, but still she needed looking after. The world could be a cold, dangerous place, and it was a gentleman’s responsibility to serve those who needed help.” (Kindle Locations 554-557, Edition: April 2015)

“With another breath, he opened his eyes and continued his climb. Again, fingers scraped across hard rock, searching for crevices, knobs or ledges that would take any weight. His hands felt frozen and cracked as the rock scraped at his fingertips. His toes ached. He could not be sure for the cold, but he thought one hand had started to bleed.
He reached for another hold, wrapped three fingers on the tiny outcropping and pulled. His hand slipped away, making him twist and grimace. His one hand still held and his feet were planted, so he did not fall, but the slip had wrenched at his shoulder and back and he gritted his teeth in pain and frustration.” (Kindle Locations 2013-2017, Edition: April 2015)

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