Bitchin' Blog Posts
Title: Savage Moon
Author: Cassie Edwards
Publication Info: Dorchester 2002
Genre: Historical: Other
It’s awful. it’s just awful.
Does that sum it up enough? No? You want me to relive the story details for you, to put my brain through the egg beater one more time? I’m already mour stupidur for having read this stinker of a book. But fine.
About two or three weeks ago, anonymous packages started showing up on my porch every few days. Inside each one was a Cassie Edwards novel. Due to this absurdly generous person, I am now the proud owner of Savage Moon, Savage Hope and a few other savage titles that I’m not even going to get up out of this chair to go verify. There are five Savages currently living in my bookshelf. I have them isolated. No telling what contagion they might pass on to the other books.
I mentioned the arrival of these packages of poop in book form to Candy, who, if it were possible to do so over IM, snickered and professed innocence to any idea that Cassie Edwards might need to find a home on my poor bookshelf. Despite the fact that each book bears a sales tag from Powell’s, which last I checked was in OREGON, the same state as presently houses CANDY (and also LILITH so do not THINK you are off the hook, ma’am), I have no concrete proof as to who set me up the bomb.
Then Candy, evil wench that she is, publicly challenged me to a duel of sorts: read a horrid book, write a review. I, of course, was conveniently gifted with a shit buffet of Edwards oeuvre, so why shouldn’t I put myself through the agony of reading one of these savage monstrosities?
Trouble was, I had to pick one. So I picked Savage Moon since the title was funny enough that perhaps laughing at it could give me a small soothing balm of comfort while I poisoned my brain. Alas, the Moon did little to help me. Thus book sucked donkey balls. There isn’t an F low enough to throw at it. I might have to modify our grading schedule and give it a Z except that the poor letter Z did nothing to deserve being permanently stuck on a Cassie Edwards novel.
Let me give you a brief plot summary: Misshi Bradley, who is really named Mitzi but her older brother has a monster of a lisp and can’t say her name so Misshi she is, thereby damning me to think of Misha Baryshnikov, is on a wagon at age 10 heading west. Her parents are dead, her siblings are dead, and the only family member left is her older brother, Dale. As expected, their wagon train is attacked by a renegade band of Shoshone Indians, lead by Chief Bear, who grabs Misshi with her wild red hair, throws her over his saddle, and rides away. Dale manages to get off one shot, which lodges in Chief Bear’s head, completely scrambling his brains, though he does manage to hold onto a squirming 10 year old tossed across his saddle.
Misshi is brought to Chief Bear’s camp but makes her escape in the fuss the others make over Chief Bear’s incapacitated state. Moments before Chief Bear and his comatose self are brought into the camp, however, Chief Bear’s wife helps their only son, Soaring Hawk, escape to form a camp of his own, because he does not approve of his fathers renegade ways. Trust me, he doesn’t approve. He says it about six time in one page.
Ten years later, when Misshi is conveniently 18 years of age, the book reveals that she’s been miraculously adopted by a neighboring Shoshone tribe and made the adopted daughter of the chief. How this was accomplished, no one knows, least of all me because the book didn’t tell me, but Misshi is a happy, dimwitted dipshit of a heroine in the Edwards mold, and has dyed her hair black with some random but powerful weed so she can blend in better with the other Shoshone.
Her adopted father turns out to be something of a mentor to Soaring Hawk, who is now a chief in his own right, and his little band of not-so-renegade-but-yet-renegade dudes has grown and remained safe and happy in their secret location. Soaring Hawk meets Misshi, their respective nether parts burst in to flame, and the obstacles they have to overcome to find their happy ending revolve around the fact that she’s white with red hair. Misshi realizes her appearance as a Shoshone is only skin deep, and she must struggle to find emotional and cultural balance between her old life, her yearning to be reunited with her brother, and her new potential life as a chief’s white wife, even IF the other members of his group accept her.
HA! I’m kidding. Honest appraisal of cultural difference? You are barking up the wrong shit tree. Not here, my friend. The obstacles facing Misshi and Soarking Hawk’s happiness stem from her brother Dale’s having gone batshit crazy while serving in the military. Vowing revenge for the kidnapping of his sister, he dresses as an Indian and attacks Indian camps and wagon trains, scalping and killing everyone in site, and saving the scalps as tribute to his lost sister. As soon as he finds Chief Bear, whom he doesn’t know has had his chiefly brains turned into a cerebral scramble, he plans on quitting his life of bloody crime and going off to St. Louis to be an opera singer.
No really. I’m not making that up.
Since I had to go through the experience of not only reading this tripe but reading it PUBLIC where people on the bus could SEE that I was reading this tripe, I figured, what better way to share my journey through the Cassie circle of hell than to excerpt my very favorite parts of the book and footnote them with my reaction. Hold your mouse over the hypertext and a small window should appear. Let me know if it doesn’t work in your browser.
Journey with me now. But take some Pepto first.
"Misshi, you are in such deep thought. What were you thinking about, little sister, that made you smile so sweetly?"
"You, big brother, you."
She reached over and placed a hand on his knee.
"Maybe I'd best not ask what your thoughts were, but you were smiling, weren't you?"
"It tears at my heart to know that such a man has my sister." He would hunt down Chief Bear and kill the savage himself. If... she...was still alive!
"Son, your tepee awaits you. Foods that you kill will cook over the flames of the fires. I have taught you not only how to be a strong leader with the right morals, but I have also taken the time to teach you the art of cooking, since you and your braves will not have mothers, or daughters, or even cousins to cook for you."
When she saw the lifeless body...she knew the one lying there was her husband. Signing with relief, for she did love the man no matter the havoc he wreaked everywhere he went, she fell to her knees.
He was devoted to his small group.... And with a woman by his side, giving him the nourishment of her love, could he not be twice the leader he was said to be today?
My heart is heavy. I cannot put everyone in danger only because the boy in me wants to go to my mother....
Misshi signed happily. She had adapted well to life with these kind Shoshone. She had even dyed her hair black with the stalks of a root called we-sha-sha so that she could look like an Indian. She was so very fond of her life as an Indian maiden that she was averse to the idea of going back to live in the white world.
"It seems that fate today has arranged that you and my adopted daughter should finally meet. Perhaps it is the will of the spirits. I am not one to argue with fate."...
He had to see to Chief Bear's demise. Of late he had discovered he had a talent for singing. He couldn't help wondering how it would feel to perform before an audience in St. Louis's beautiful opera house....
He was sure she had feelings for him, and that knowledge made his loins ache with need of her. He wanted her with him always!
"Soaring Hawk, is it not time for your blankets to be warmed by a woman's body? Does not Misshi stir your loins?"
She gasped, embarrassed by Washakie's openness in speaking about Soaring Hawk's loins!
But nearby, glittering evil green eyes watched them from high above, soon to make a beautiful moon become suddenly...savage.
Because life was harsh here in Wyoming land....
"Do you truly think I can learn how to ride a horse again?"
"You will ride, you will feel the freedom of riding, and you will feel the joy it brings to your heart."
A blaze of urgency filled her as his tongue continued to pleasure her in a way she would have thought forbidden. But the wild exuberant passion it created within her made her uncaring of society's rules.
"Nei-com-man-pe-ein, I love you, woman," Soaring Hawk said huskily, then crushed her lips with a heated kiss and ground his body into hers until they both moaned....
"Those responsible for this kill might be close enough to grab you."
"Then go and I will go with you; I shall keep my eyes closed."
He knew that this night would not pass without their coming together as lovers!
In Shoshone and Bannock the North Star is called Wa-se-a-ure-chah-pe, and then there is Ursa Major which his also called the Seven Stars and The Wagon. It makes its revolution around the polar star, pointing toward it. This is the secret of how my people travel by night when there is no moon."
"I love the Milky Way." I love how it is called moch-pa-achon-ka-hoo, the backbone of the sky."
"We also believe the Aurora Borealis is a cloud of fire."
Nothing had stopped Chief Bear's hate until that bullet entered the base of his skull and rendered him almost a vegetable.
Misshi turned toward White Snow Feather. She tried to ignore the resentment in the depths of the woman's eyes.
"White Snow Feather, I can never forget what Chief Bear did to my family, and I'm not sure I can ever forgive him, but if Soaring Hawk can bargain for his release, I will not interfere."
Just that quickly, the antagonism White Snow Feather had felt for Misshi was gone.
His father wasn't even aware when Soaring Hawk could no longer hold back his tears and took Chief Bear into his arms. "Oh, Father, is it I. It is Soaring Hawk who has come to take you home to Mother."...
"This is our special night. My woman, I have not even played my flute of love for you."
He was proud of her knowledge of the Shoshone way of healing. She knew so much, no Shaman was required to ensure Soaring Hawk's health.
"See the dried material on the very tips of the sharpened stone arrowhead?" Soaring Hawk said, pointing toward it. "The points of these arrowheads have been dipped into a mixture of pulverized ants and the spleen of an animal that has been allowed to decay in the direct rays of the sun," Soaring Hawk said grimly. "This rotten mixture combined with rattlesnake venom is the deadliest of weapons."
Misshi fell to her knees. "Finding these scalps and these arrows proves that my brother has been killing whites and making it look like the work of Indians."...
"During council, I had a premonition you weren't safe."
"Big brother, who was the true savage! You were, Dale, you were."
"These flowers will help erase the ugliness I just went through."
So there you have it: brain poison, Cassie Edwards style. I have to seriously question WHY this shit is continually published? I know the short answer is that many someones, somewhere out there, is buying this shit. But holy crap in a cover, why? How is it that this superficial, tawdry, poorly-written drivel passes as some sort of tribute to Native American culture? You know the crying Indian commercial from the 70's? He's not crying because he paddled through chemical waste and litter. He's crying because he just finished a Cassie Edwards novel that bastardized his culture into trite homilies and meaningless drivel.
Seriously, the presence of books like this on the market pisses me off. I take it personally that people are writing, marketing, and selling this crap because it is so utterly and completely terrible, it's culturally offensive, it's poorly written, and it's so very much the reason why romance novels have such a bad reputation. It's insulting to Native Americans, and it's insulting to me. F this book, literally.