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Two Rivers by Zoe Saadia
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From reading other books by Zoe Saadia, I learned that she has a deep passion for the lost culture of the pre-Columbian Americas, which she acts on by researching it, so as to incorporate the details of this fascinating history into her stories. TWO RIVERS is no different. The text is enhanced by maps that illustrate where the tale takes place, making it real. But make no mistake: the research remains in the background, and the writing is sensual, bringing you directly into the events. During the ballgame,
just before a meaningless row breaks out, Tekeni is described, “”Racing on, oblivious of the cheering crounds, he turned sharply without slowing his step, catching his balance, ready to face the descending ball… for a fraction of a moment he could see it clearly, a coarse, round thing made out of a stuffed deerskin, heavy enough to inflict damage if one wasn’t careful.”

Conflicts between the characters are well drawn, which makes the dialog sharp: The voice of women is given in the story as well. “You used me like the last of the female captive females, to satisfy your needs and to wipe your feet after you were done.”

Five stars. ( )
  Uvi_Poznansky | Jul 9, 2015 |
Here is another great book by Zoe Saadia. “Two Rivers” brings passion and intrigue into the reader mind. I love her books and this one is just proves that she is a great author with a wild imagination, amazing detail in research and breathtaking deliver of the story.
The characters are wonderful and I find them believable beyond any doubt. Reading the book I felt like I was transformed to another world and felt each emotion and each breath the characters took. I followed the legend of a man that believed it was his responsibility to bring the rival nations together and form the Iroquois constitution.
How fascinating to be taken to a different era and witnessing a awesome piece of history unfolding in front of your eyes. I could not put the book down and when I got to the last page I felt the need for more.
I would recommend the book to every person that love history and wild imagination that produces and fascinating book.
( )
  An-Avid-Reader | Feb 18, 2015 |
Two Rivers (The Great Peacemaker Series, book 1) by Zoe Saadia

Having read and loved all five books in the Rise of the Aztec Series, I wanted to read more books by Zoe Saadia, which led me to her new book, “Two Rivers”. This is book one of her new series about the formation of the Iroquois Confederation and, according to legend, how it came to be.

I have been fascinated with the Iroquois Confederacy for well over a decade, as it demonstrates clearly that a large network of rival Native American tribes were able to come together in the pursuit of peace and survival, to form a federation that covered more territory than did the original United States, stretching from the American Southeast all the way into Canada. The Iroquois League included the Seneca, Cayuga, Mohawks, Onondaga and Oneida, and originally was often called the Five Nations. The new alternative name became Six Nations when the Tuscarora join the confederacy in 1722. “Two Rivers” focuses several centuries earlier on the man who inspired the alliance around the 12th or 13th century.

“Two Rivers” follows the legend of the man believed responsible for bringing the rival nations together and forming the Iroquois constitution. This is not his real name, as Ms. Saadia is conscientious when mixing fictional and nonfictional characters.

While there is a wealth of great characters in this first book in the series, three appear important in regard to the series. Much of this first book follows Two Rivers, who is of course central to the story itself. One of the two other primary characters is a young man named Tekeni, captured a couple of years before and finding it unusually difficult to blend in as a full member of this new tribe, which most of the captured typically are able to do. The third character of great consequence is Seketa, a strong-willed, smart, brave teenage female that is not afraid to speak her mind, even to go against powerful members of the tribe on occasion.

Two Rivers is over ten years older than the Tekeni who has reached his late teens, the former already a proven warrior and man, while the latter still considered an unproven and unaccepted pup. The two men share a penchant for getting in trouble with the tribe, Two Rivers because he advocates ideas that conflict with a warring tradition, and Tekeni because he is a teenage foreigner who refuses to accept the ways of his new people.

Their destiny becomes connected when there is a competitive game of Lacrosse to open the book, a game created to give the Creator thanks. Tekeni finds himself in trouble when an older warrior playing with the opposing team plays dirty. Tekeni responds in kind by whopping the aggressor with his stick. The warrior falls injured with a head injury and it appears he might die. Tekeni finds the entire tribe against him, except for Two Rivers who stepped forward to defend the young man, admitting Tekeni perhaps allowed his temper to get the best of him, but insisting that the warrior was the instigator and that Tekeni was merely defending himself.

The story plays out with Tekeni and Two Rivers taking turns getting into trouble with the tribe, until they find themselves both in trouble, setting up the final showdown of book one in this series.

I like visionaries, and Two Rivers certainly qualifies. I like young rebels who stand up for themselves, and Tekeni is a great example. I like strong female characters that are as great as any male character, and Seketa fits the mode. I like great historical fiction, which is exactly what this book is. Ms. Saadia does a great job of mixing fictional characters with real characters, and with writing fiction but taking diligence to be historically accurate. This is a great read as a consequence.

“Two Rivers” by Zoe Saadia earns 5 Stars.

Reviewed by Jerry Beller ( )
  jerrybeller | Oct 25, 2013 |
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Having survived the failed raid on the enemy lands, Tekeni had no illusions. He was nothing but an enemy cub, adopted into one of the clans, but not accepted, never for real. To fit in was difficult, to run away - impossible. To get into trouble, more often than not, was the only available option. They did not expect anything else from him, anyway.

However, when a meaningless row during a ballgame grew out of proportion, resulting in a fight, Tekeni has found himself in a truly grave trouble. Neither he nor anyone else could have foreseen the chain of events the consequences of this fight would release, when the highly esteemed but controversial Two Rivers decided to help Tekeni out.

Two Rivers was a strange person with unacceptable notions and ideas. He maintained that to war on and on was a mistake of disastrous consequences. He went as far as suggesting a negotiation of peace with some of the neighboring nations. Even Tekeni, the despised enemy, thought such ideas to be far-fetched and wild. And yet...

With their trouble mounting and the revengefulness of some people around them growing, both Tekeni and Two Rivers find themselves pushed beyond limits.

[retrieved 2/11/2015 from Amazon.com]
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