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Thanks to Jer. Harris of South Carolina for the following submitted review of Red Earth Sky, the third novel in the series.


RED EARTH SKY:  A Review by Jeremy Harris

     Red Earth Sky is an extraordinary journey that incorporates the ancient history of the North American civilizations into a gripping story of love, deception, and deliverance.  The language is poetic, though the dialogue is a little awkard due to every character speaking of themselves in the third person.  However, the intentions of the author were obviously to create an authentic experience, and in this aspect Red Earth Sky excels.  Red Earth Sky is a solid effort to blend anthropology with contemporaty fiction.  The dialogue of this novel in my opinion is its most outstanding quality.  The characters are extremely well-spoken.  Their words hold power, even when the discussion is one of little importance.  They speak with honor, and self assurance that speaks of their vast intelligence and traditional complexities.  When the characters speak to one another, it is with great respect and love, even when so much respect in not due, and such love is not warranted.  There is a sense that the hinge of the world is held in place by the words of the elders, and the references to the spirit world are intriguing to say the least.

Kuhn's novel is a well thought out, well organized pamphlet to the understanding of the ancient world and an extraordinary journey into the life of primitive man that makes him not just a savage, but an articulate man, a man capable of complex organization of thought, social structures, and emotions.  Red Earth Sky is a testimony that suggests that the world of the ancient Americas nourished a mankind not much different from that of today, and a reminder that the supernatural forces that inhabit our planet are alive and well.

A thoroughly enjoyable book that carries the reader through a brief series of events which at first divides and ultimately unites a scattering of families living along the rivers of western Appalachia. The dialog is fascinating, capturing the intricacies and importance of the social web that unites and balances the status, wealth, and relationships of the families and individual members. The plot is strong, developing in a straightforward way, but with a full measure of interwoven subplots to hold interest.

For anyone with any curiosity about Native Americans this, and the other books in this series, are a must read. In "A Dark Winged Shadow," there is vivid detail about how everyday life passed for the Adena culture Mound Builders. Shamanism develops into political power and leadership, with careful attention to responsibility and the general welfare of the families. This is an era of early agriculture, trade, and specialization. Intelligence and wisdom are rewarded, with due reverence for the "spirit guidance" of ancestors and nature.

The inability to cope individually and as a culture with mental health issues created by suppressed homosexuality is explored. The dark path of depression, frustration, fear and rage experienced by one of the lead characters accurately portrays how misunderstanding, cultural insensitivity and taboo lead to destructive outcomes. The fact that such outcomes are expressed over generations in a family shows not only that it is a born trait, but also that without evolution of understanding and acceptance, destructive outcomes remain the inevitable result.

This is a rewarding and enjoyable read. As someone who loves to learn as part of his entertainment, there could not be a better investment of energy and time. My thanks to T.C. Kuhn for sharing his knowledge and talent. I am grateful.

Jake Spencer
Annapolis, MD

While surfing the net, I came across this sight and ordered my first book, The Stone Breakers. I began reading it upon its arrival and subsequently found that I could not put it down. The author, Mr. Kuhn, was able to weave very life like scenarios by using his education and field experience. This allows the reader’s imagination to look into the past and mentally picture what it may have been like to live in the camps, what the Native American people did to survive in the harsh conditions that they were surrounded by and the interactions between other groups of hunters/gathers. I am now retired and having just moved from the deep South (Miami, FL. where very little is left of history) to the Ohio valley, I have started to collect arrow heads from my fields and the surrounding farm fields (after gaining permission from the owners.) This book allows the reader to use his/her imagination to theorize and answer the ever present question after making a find, “ What were the people like that made these implements? How did they live? What was the reason for this particular item?” I would recommend this book to anyone that wants to gain the additional insight, using their own imagination, as to what the Native Americans might have been like and what they may have faced in their lives.

Randy Rubiera

I picked up Mr. Kuhn's third novel, Red Earth Sky after a friend recommended it to me. The author does an amazing job describing how life must have been like for these peoples and shows you their perspective, instead of trying to make them see their world through a modern one. The first few chapters did start off a little slowly but once the book picked up i simply couldn't put it down! As this is the third book in a series i was initially worried i would be lost having not yet read the first two, but thats not the case i would recommend anyone who has either an interest in early American culture or just to anyone who enjoys a good read!

I thoroughly enjoyed reading the second book of this series. Having been a Police Officer for 38 years (retired now) and dealing with the worst and best in civilized society, I was intriqued that T.C Kuhn incorporated the basic joys, hopes, and problems that society faces today, into the daily lives and survival of ancient man. Are we not much the same, only with advance technology that makes our survival somewhat easier? I have walked into the quiet forest of Ohio, where ancient man tred. I have found his artiacts which have been buried by time. T.C. Kuhn's books allow an individual to open his/her imagination while in the forest and if only for a moment, look through the mists of time and imagine the movement of ancient man as he sought to feed himself and family in a hostile environment. If only for a while, this book allows the reader to travel back in time and opens a window in how it might have been.

Randall Rubiero

Just finished the book last night.  I spent additional time reading thoroughly the last chapter.  I must say this book is a good read. I have a number of thoughts about the book.  First, I thought the narrative about how different native peoples' attempted to keep their distance from each other, especially when it came to trade, hunting and so forth.  During my last years as a faculty member, and during the anniversary of Columbus, there were many speakers who visited the campus pontificating that all American Indians are brothers.....,etc.  It makes me think that with the coming of the Indo-Europeans the native peoples found it difficult to process something that was so faroutside their mental view of the world.  Second, there was a sense of excitement as the narrative followed Datkas from the interaction with the various villages and as a "guest" of De Soto!  The last chapter is an appropriate conclusion to what you have attempted to do with all the books - native peoples coming to recognize that circumstances, whether it is a crises or an opportunity, have a similar impact on humankind whether they have "great beasts" or not.  I was surprised and a little disappointed that Datkas wasn't able to make it home with all the compiled knowledge and insights of his experiences.  As I thought about it, and reading the last chapter several times, your ending was the only one that made sense!  With all that Datkas had learned he recognized at the end that what he had experienced would need to be learned again and again.
Placing that composite knowledge at the ready for native peoples without context made no sense.  Why would the native leadership accept something so far outside their world view and social experiences?  Datkas believed that his knowledge and experiences would exist in the spirit world for other healers and visionaries, through an animistic bonding of beasts and men.  How else to make this happen but through the wolf - brilliant!

Review submitted by Dr. C. Van Middlesworth, Kansas City, KS

My thanks to Mrs. Sandra Thomas of WV for emailing me this review of Voices Upon the Wind and giving me permission to reprint it on my blog.

A rewarding sequel with new surprises. Intrigued by the author's first novel, "The StoneBreakers", I chose to read the generational sequel, "Voices Upon the Wind", to find out what happened to the main characters to the first novel. After these loose ends are tied up fairly satisfactorily in the first chapter, Kuhn sets off on a new journey into a strange world of changing environments, unknown spirit forces, and a mixture of appealing new characters of both youth and wise old age. Something of a vision quest and coming of age type story follows, but with a new twist in which an alien environment that no longer exists for us almost becomes the real main character. The past comes alive for me with a character driven and tightly plotted journey across space and time that stands on its own legs and leaves the reader wondering what new ideas and insights this knowledgeable writer will share with us in other books.

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