Volume on of the Storyteller Trilogy
by Sue Harrison
Published in November, 1997, by Avon Hardcover
Eighty centuries before our time, in the frozen, snowbound interior of a land that will someday be called Alaska, a beautiful young woman named K’os, of the Cousin River Village, is brutally attacked and ravaged by men from the Near River Village. With ruthless passion she vows vengeance on those who have wronged her. The next day, in the same place, K’os finds an abandoned baby — a child with a club foot who’s been left to die. She adopts him as her own and names him Chakliux.
Twenty years later, K’os has grown cold and cunning, obsessed with the desire for revenge and eager to create conflict. Chakliux, respected as his tribe’s treasured storyteller, is sent back to the village of his birth, where he has been chosen to wed the shaman’s daughter in order to bring peace to the Cousin and Near River People. But before he can win the people’s trust, a double murder jeopardizes his mission and forces him to travel to distant lands.
So begins a miraculous journey that will touch many lives — from the Whale Hunters and Walrus Men who know the mysteries of the sea; to the lonely, gifted Aqamdax, whose search for a home makes her an outcast among strangers, to a boy called Ghaden, whose elusive memories may hold the key to the storyteller’s future. Ultimately Chakliux must grow and learn — driven by the ancient songs of sea and sky, earth and animals — as he seeks the truth about the offenses for which his people have suffered and about the woman who raised him, the hateful and ambitious K’os, who may be his most dangerous enemy of all.
An adventure and a mystery, Song of the River is also a love story as Chakliux falls under the spell of the beautiful Aqamdax, his brother’s wife.