Rosie’s Book Review Team #RBRT Beyond The Great River by @ZoeSaadia

Today’s team review comes from Terry, she blogs at


Terry chose to read and review Beyond The Great River (People of The Longhouse book 1) by Zoe Saadia



(People of the Longhouse Book 1) by Zoe Saadia

4 out of 5 stars

This series takes place a short while after the Peacemaker series, which brought about the Great League of the Iroquois.

The story centres around Kentiko, a young girl who does not behave as a young woman of her tribe should; she wants to fight, track, explore, rather than engage in domestic matters. Disappointingly for their warrior father, her brother, Migisso, does not feel comfortable with the path laid out for him, either. He does not want to follow in his father’s footsteps but instead follows the tribal medicine man and knows he has a gift for healing. He was my favourite character. The third main character is Okwaho, from a neighbouring tribe, who becomes part of a small force that invades Kentiko and Migisso’s village. Then Kentiko and Okwaho meet…

As with Zoe Saadia’s other books, I was aware all the way through it of the detailed research that goes into her work. It’s more than just research, though; she seems to have an innate feel for the people of the time, so much that the reader is not able to tell which bits stem from fact and which from her own imagination: the evidence of a truly talented historical fiction writer. The domestic detail is the part that fascinates me the most, giving a real insight into the way these people lived.

The book is beautifully written as ever, and shows the story so well from all points of view. For me this book was a bit detail rather than event heavy, but I still read it in just a few sittings; it was interesting rather than being a ‘what’s going to happen next???’ page turner like the Peacemaker series. Given the ages of the main characters, and their dilemmas, I had a feeling more of a YA novel, too; it would definitely appeal to teenagers—and, of course, for anyone with an interest in ancient American history all this writer’s books are an absolute treat.

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Me and Billy The Kid by Briana Vedsted

Me and Billy the KidMe and Billy the Kid by Briana Vedsted

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What do people know about Billy the Kid? The name alone is famous in history and from the silver screen. But what was he really like? Briana has written a book around the stories and tales which abound about this historical character. She has tried to provide possible answers to such questions as; “Why was Sheriff Pat Garrett so bent on catching Billy?”, “Why did Pete Maxwell betray Billy?” and “Was Billy really murdered in 1881?”

Briana introduces Angel Garther to the scene, a women could well had been associated with Billy and his gang. This book is Angel’s tale, the story from her possible eyes. Eyes that saw the reality behind some of famous shootouts, like The Lincoln County War and Gunfight at Blazer’s Mill. Angel is portrayed as a strong women and one who would go to lengths to stay with Billy because she knew that William H Bonney (Billy the Kid) was not a monster, just a kid who’s been hurt a long time ago.

I liked the story, as a kid I loved watching Westerns on a Saturday afternoon. The scenery, the gunfights, the heroes, the goodies and the baddies. It was good to think about what life was more likely to have been, how raw life was, full of hot emotions, where nearly everyone had a gun and men shot first and asked questions second. It certainly was a part of history which shouldn’t be forgotten.

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