Spirit Bow

The Saga of Sean O'Malley

Fiction - Historical - Event/Era
300 Pages
Reviewed on 08/24/2019
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Lit Amri for Readers' Favorite

“A nice-sized buck lay in the snow just above the wounded Indian’s head, a red-feathered arrow protruding from its side. It is obvious to Sean what happened. The young Indian had just lifted the buck to his shoulders when Sean saw the antlers and fired. He can see the lifeblood oozing out of the small bullet hole in the Indian’s buckskin shirt. As Sean steps closer, the wounded boy’s eyes suddenly open wide and he reaches a hand up to him." In November of 1819, 11-year-old Sean O'Malley fatally shot an Indian teen after mistaking him for a deer. Prompted by his grandfather to keep the Indian's bow and quiver, that fateful day haunts him and sealed a future that would be filled with tragic consequences.

Spirit Bow: The Saga of Sean O’Malley by James L. Lettis excellently depicted the atmosphere of life in early 19th century America. The harshness of the wild and tense relationship between the generations of settlers and the Native Americans is felt especially when the protagonist lost his family. Spirit Bow is a gritty and unflinching novel that focuses on the human will to survive, whether by fighting each other or working together. Lettis deftly captures the rawness and anxiety of the characters in his narrative which will definitely evoke a myriad of emotions from readers. I appreciated the helpful notes at the end of the novel which shed light on the people, places, things, and events of the time period. All in all, Spirit Bow is a moving and substantial read from Lettis.