After reading a long string of dense historical books I really needed something different. My wishes came true with The Spirit Keeper, an historical romance set in early America. Usually I like my romance served up on the side in my readings, but this lovely book was just too good to put down.
The book opens by introducing us to Katie O'Toole, the thirteenth child born to Irish immigrants, who is planning on abandoning her abusive frontier home and flee to Philadelphia. Her plans go awry when her home is attacked by Indians. She is taken captive by the attackers, but she is given a choice. She may stay with her family and be sold as slaves, or she can go with Syawa, a seer who believes that Katie is the Creature of Fire and Ice from his visions. Unbelievably, Katie decides to go with Syawa and his friend and protector, whom she calls Hector. Katie's journey is long, but she will learn much about herself in the process.
This book was an absolute delight to read. Katie, Syawa, and Hector are amazing characters. I especially loved Katie. Although she goes through many hardships in her life, these experiences have prepared her for the journey that she takes. She starts out being so unhappy with her life (for good reason), but by the end, even though she loses a lot in the process, she ends up being a happier, stronger person. Syawa, the seer, has traveled a long way to find Katie, his Creature of Fire and Ice, all because he had a vision that she would bring an amazing gift to his people. He always knows more than he lets on which makes him an interesting character. Hector and Katie struggle to understand each other from the beginning. It's not only the lack of a shared language, but also their vastly different life experiences. However, throughout the story they slowly grow to understand each other.
This book really capture my attention right from the beginning and kept it all the way through. I finished this in less than a day, it was just that good. Even after having finished it, I'm still thinking about how amazing it was. Unlike a lot of romance books that I've read, this one is about a deep connection between two people rather than just a physical relationship. I could have read another one hundred pages of this book.
(This review is based off an ARC that I received from NetGalley in exchange for this review.)