Boyden is a brilliant author. Over the course of the book he has crafted a gradual shift in each of the three main characters. His telling of the story from alternating points of view of these three characters developed an empathy for each in me. But I felt that only two adequately represented the Hurons’ and the Jesuits’ historical perspective, and that the Iroquois were cast as the villains and were not really represented in the character of Snow Falls. Despite having to take a break now and then from the excruciatingly detailed brutality, I was left with a thread of hope. As for the orenda, the spiritual magic of the natives, I suspect that the Jesuits’ (ie, colonials’) judgments of it as evil still persists to this day.

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