ELATSOE by Darcie Little Badger: A YA Fantasy to Escape Into

Elatsoe turned out to be a wonderful novel to lose myself in and and find some stress reduction at the same time.  This fantasy novel is written by a new author, who creates a believable alternate reality world.  It’s very similar to ours, but with important differences: like everyday magic of floating orbs of light or rings of fungi that can help some travel through the world at warp speed.  People know more about the power of legends, the reality of some monsters, as well as the reality of a ghost world.  Seventeen-year-old Elatsoe is skilled at raising the ghosts of dead animals, a talent passed down through generations of her Lipan Apache family.

When Elatsoe dreams of her cousin Travis’s supposedly accidental death, she sets out to find the murderer, traveling to Texas with family and friends to investigate and help provide justice.  I so appreciated the closeness of Elatsoe’s community, and the emphasis on friendship and loyalty, courage and respect for the environment.  There is suspense, menace, humor, and characters with depth.  I love the ways that the knowledge and legends of the indigenous peoples are woven into the plot.  I look forward to reading more from this author.  Maybe more about Elatsoe’s future adventures!

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