Word Factory

book cover

18 Stones

Chaiko's and Dawn's children, the twins, Sundance and Moonbeam, go in search of a ring made of a mysterious material that is not stone, not wood and not bone, but shines like the sun. There are few clues to lead them, pointing ever west, toward the mountains with snow on top even in summer.

On the way they meet an enigmatic person, Tartusk, who agrees to guide them on their quest. Travel is dangerous and they encounter many forms of it. Who can you trust when so far from home? How to survive in a culture where you don't know the language? They meet Tok and a girl Sara, who ran away from home to join up with the quest.

After an arduous journey with many challenges, they reach the mountains and find the source of what they call coppr, a mine worked by a secluded community, jealously guarding their secret. Dancer spies out their craft, determined to take the knowledge back to his clan.

The journey back is no easier as they run into one difficulty after another. Each step however, is spurred by home sickness, and they arrive home to a heartwarming reception.

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With this book I was attempting to find a different perspective on Chaiko and Dawn, as seen through the eyes of their children. How were the parents reflected in their thinking and actions? How did they apply the knowledge they had been taught? The twins were particularly good mirrors, Sundance reflecting Chaiko and Moonbeam likewise Dawn.

My other goal was to explore a larger slice of history in which the Standing-Rock Clan represents the hunting and gathering society of the stone age, but as they move west, the twins encounter progressively more sophisticated cultures. Caves are replaced by huts, livelyhood agumented by beginning agriculture and animal husbandry. At the end point in the journey they are in the dawn of the copper age.

It was great fun to foreshorten history and have a wider view of it. I am very pleased how well it succeeded.

Again, Chaiko and family give thanks to my wife for her editing (as she had all my books), allowing my heroes to cross into public life. If my books find favor with you, it is because of her that they are out there. I am, as always, hugely grateful to her.

Finally, I wish you a good journey through my books and thank you for reading them. Let me know how you made out. My only disappointment is that I get so few comments on my work.

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