White Wolf—an elderly shaman and Wicasa—serves as his tribe’s spiritual connection with the Grand Father. As shaman, he must prepare the way for his successor, who will be chosen through ancient rituals designed to reveal true character. As Wicasa, he can only wait for signs from the Great Spirit to know if one will replace him to lead the people in spirit during this trying time. While traveling homeward following a quest that had taken him far from his ancestral mountains, he receives a vision from the Grand Father telling him the name of the next Wicasa: Flaming Eagle, a name he does not recognize. He knows the four young men who are candidates to become shaman and must consider their achievements and character as they strive for manhood. Although plagued by emotions regarding the unknown, White Wolf strives to maintain balance with nature while honoring the traditions passed down through the ages as he prepares the way for the next generation of his tribe. Meanwhile, he and his tribe must deal with the ever-present terrorism of nearby savages as well as the foreboding specter of the future invaders. Set in the early history of native North Americans, this novel presents a complex view of a society in which White Wolf and Flaming Eagle must strive to be worthy of their people beyond their roles as warriors and providers.
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