Book Review: Where The Rain is Made by Keta Diablo
A love that transcends time — a compelling, time-traveling romance poised between modern day and the gut-wrenching conflict between the Cheyenne and the Blue Coats.
Where The Rain Is Made had a fantastic and well-developed plot. The book opens with Ethan Gray, bruised, battered, and in a jail cell, and we don’t know what to think. Is he a good guy we’re supposed to love, or a criminal? But when the shaman Stands-In-Light visits him, calls him I Am the Wind, and says he is needed back in time, that his People, the Cheyenne, are involved in a bloody conflict, he accepts without hesitation.
His mission is to save as many Cheyenne as possible and convince Black Kettle to move his village. The shaman cautions him not to get sidetracked by chasing his vision of “a woman with hair the color of the magpie and eyes greener than pine needles.” One thing is clear though, if he is to return to his present life, the decision to come back must be made with “the whisper of a breath” before he dies.
By invoking a chant, he transforms into a raven, soars to the place where the rain is made, and then dives into the past where he is known as Meko, or leader.
It’s not long before we are introduced to Cesca, the woman of his vision, and the story unfolds. One of Cheyenne savagery and White Man's lies and brutality, but also ones of tenderness, love, honor, and devotion.
Where The Rain is Made was a surprising blend of genres. While solidly building on a foundation of romance, it is so much more. The paranormal aspect of time travel and shamanism is painted realistically and establishes the authenticity of the story while allowing modern-day influences to be brought into a past time through the hero's modern perspective. The reader is swept along with the emotions of the characters; fears of impending war, devotion to culture, love of family, horror at the necessary brutality of the Dog Soldier. The plot and characters are well developed and their ties to history and each other ebb and flow logically, but not predictably, securing the reader’s interest until the end.
The writing itself flows with an artistic mix of vivid depiction, intense emotion and every-day challenges that lets the reader say, “Oh, I’ve been there!” Also, the juxtaposition between the necessary goods in the historical scenes versus the present-day way of life made me stop and consider what is really important. Keta Diablo answers that question clearly: love, family and safety.