Kathi Oram Peterson
Kathi Oram Peterson understands the challenges and triumphs of youth. In The Stone Traveler, she has not only created a troubled youth from our day, she has created a cast of enchanting characters from 34 A.D. Meso-America who are beset by the concerns of their own complex time. When the dubious actions of our main character, 16-year-old Tag Quincy, catapult him back two thousand years into young leader, Sabirah’s ancient land, both come to discover that dangers abound in both worlds, and that ultimately, peace for each is based on the same two important elements.
When Tag’s father and brother leave the family unexpectedly and without explanation, the changes that occur in his once-perfect world cause Tag to systematically rebel against everything he once believed in. The impact is most apparent on the outside as Tag assumes a Goth-like persona with an angry, rebellious attitude to match.
Ironically, it is on a day when he is actually trying to save his own spineless cousin from being attacked by the problematic gang recruiting Tag that his good intentions are misinterpreted, landing the full weight of his mother’s disappointment and anger on him. The result is a summer of banishment to his grandfather’s lakeside cabin for an attitude adjustment, and Tag will have none of it.
While making his escape one stormy night, Tag happens upon the cabin where three strange men take him in. In their possession is an intriguing glowing stone that entices Tag until he decides to “borrow” it. But the stone exacts its own consequence, hurtling Tag back into 19-year-old Sabirah’s violent world where he is viewed as the promised Wayfarer who will help her locate her own missing father and brother. As the two teens form an alliance, Tag’s dependence on Sabirah’s cunning and wisdom eventually diminishes as he emerges as a young man capable of far more than he ever believed.
Kathi Oram Peterson’s The Stone Traveler is a wonderful coming-of-age story that delivers a solid fantasy tale with beautifully-paced spiritual elements woven throughout. It’s written in first-person, through Tag’s and Sabirah’s distinctive voices. It took me a few chapters to catch the rhythm of the story, but from the middle to the end I was turning pages furiously, intrigued by unexpected plot twists and surprises at every turn. Her characterizations are distinct and endearing, and her ability to maintain their individual voices while allowing them to grow and develop, was executed masterfully.
The book raises important topics such as family unity, loyalty, integrity, faith, testimony, trust, true friendship, marriage prep, etc. Moreover, the subtle comparison between Tag and the rebels of Sabirah’s day is compelling.
Published by Covenant, The Stone Traveler will satisfy adults and youth alike, making it a wonderful family book to be shared and discussed together.
Click here to buy a copy online.
As I’ve mentioned throughout the month, Kathi is running a unique and exciting blog tour with fabulous prizes. It’s not too late to enjoy the fun at: http://www.kathiswritingnook.com/2010/09/journey-begins.html.