“Burning Sky” grabbed my attention at first glance with its gorgeous cover. Once I had read its beautiful yet haunting opening words I had to know everything about this woman. I am not certain why I first hesitated to choose this book to review but I am so glad that I changed my mind. “Burning Sky” is one novel that will remain on my keeper shelf. Another new author has been added to my must-read list.

Captured by Indians at a young age, Willa Obenchain returned after twelve years to the family farm to find her parents missing. As she neared the end of her journey, she discovered wounded Neil MacGregor who she rescued and nursed back to health. The war with the British was over but resentment and hatred for the Mohawk remained strong. Torn between the two cultures, Willa encountered prejudice and harassment at the hands of some of her former friends and neighbors as well as the threat of losing the family farm. Neil remained to help Willa while he recuperated from his injuries and grew to care for her but Willa had determined to never let herself care for anyone again because the pain of loss was too great. Two other men – one a former suitor and one her Indian brother also played important roles in the story.

I enjoyed most everything about “Burning Sky”. Character development was excellent from the Willa and Neil to the children, Joseph Tames-His-Horse, Francis, Anni, Goodenough, and even the dog Cap. The steady plot moved at a steady pace and included just the right amount of historical details and descriptions of the settings to make me feel a part of the story. Scripture was sprinkled liberally throughout the story but was used naturally and was not overwhelming. In fact one scripture in particular seemed to be the theme of the story and was often an encouragement to Willa as she struggled with everything that came against her. “Burning Sky” helps the reader understand the points of view from both the Indians and the settlers.

I could go on but I do not want to reveal too much. “Burning Sky” should appeal to those who enjoy books about the early days of our nation. I look forward to what this new author will offer us next.

This book was provided for review by the Amazon Vine program.

Burning Sky“I remember the borders of our land, though I have been gone from them nearly half the moons of my life. But who there will remember me? What I have seen, what I have done, it has changed me.
I am the place where two rivers meet, silted with upheaval and loss.
Yet memory of our land is a clear stream. I shall know it as a mother knows the faces of her children. It may be I will find me there.“

Abducted by Mohawk Indians at fourteen and renamed Burning Sky, Willa Obenchain is driven to return to her family’s New York frontier homestead after many years building a life with the People. At the boundary of her father’s property, Willa discovers a wounded Scotsman lying in her path. Feeling obliged to nurse his injuries, the two quickly find much has changed during her twelve-year absence—her childhood home is in disrepair, her missing parents are rumored to be Tories, and the young Richard Waring she once admired is now grown into a man twisted by the horrors of war and claiming ownership of the Obenchain land.

When her Mohawk brother arrives and questions her place in the white world, the cultural divide blurs Willa’s vision. Can she follow Tames-His-Horse back to the People now that she is no longer Burning Sky? And what about Neil MacGregor, the kind and loyal botanist who does not fit into in her plan for a solitary life, yet is now helping her revive her farm? In the aftermath of the Revolutionary War, strong feelings against “savages” abound in the nearby village of Shiloh, leaving Willa’s safety unsure.

Willa is a woman caught between two worlds. As tensions rise, challenging her shielded heart, the woman called Burning Sky must find a new courage–the courage to again risk embracing the blessings the Almighty wants to bestow. Is she brave enough to love again?

Click here to download chapter one of Burning Sky.

Preorder a copy of Burning Sky HERE.


Lori BentonLori Benton was born and raised east of the Appalachian Mountains, surrounded by early American and family history going back to the 1600s. Her novels transport readers to the 18th century, where she brings to life the Colonial and early Federal periods of American history, creating a melting pot of characters drawn from both sides of a turbulent and shifting frontier, brought together in the bonds of God’s transforming grace.

When she isn’t writing, reading, or researching 18th century history, Lori enjoys exploring the mountains with her husband – often scouring the brush for huckleberries, which overflow the freezer and find their way into her signature huckleberry lemon pound cake.