Saturday, May 28, 2016

Shaman's Fire by Sandy Cathcart with Diana Shadley

Cathcart has given us a graphic novel of spiritual warfare taking place in southern Oregon among the Klamath people. The soul of a young woman is at stake.

This is a very interesting novel about the ways of Native Americans, especially when they become Christians. There are many visions and supernatural experiences in the book, both within a Christian experience and from that of the dark side. Many of these experiences may be foreign to evangelical Christians.

The Native Americans incorporate their traditional ways in worshiping God. Ghostdancer, for example, claimed to be thoroughly Native and thoroughly Christian, doing the dances to honor the Creator. On the opposite side is a healer who has left the old ways and gone bad. He has been taking money to cast spells and is deep into the black arts. He is good at offering what a person wants in order to draw them into the bondage of evil. Lies are freely told.

The spiritual warfare is graphically portrayed. There are many manifestations of the spiritual realm, from both God and the devil. There is also the use of drugs for mystical experiences. There is some good discussion about the ability of the shaman, the healer gone bad. Ghostdancer says, “He has no power other than Creator Yahweh allows.”

While the spiritual experiences are foreign to me, I found this to be a very interesting book. Besides the spiritual aspect, I learned about how the Native Americans were treated, even within the last century. The only aspect of the novel I found disconcerting was the change in point of view. One character is in the first person perspective, another is in the second person, and the rest from third person. Cathcart was consistent in this by keeping one perspective per chapter, but I did not like it.

I would recommend this novel to those interested in how Christian faith is experienced by Native Americans. They seem to live much more attuned to the spirit world than most evangelicals do.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

Sandy Cathcart is an award-winning writer, photographer, and artist. She grew up on the stories of her Cherokee great grandmother, a healer in the Red Rock, Arkansas area. Because of these stories and her involvement with Native Americans, she believe in restoration and transformation through giving worth to a people who offer valuable ways of worshiping Creator, the God of the Bible. She and her husband are active outdoors people. They live in the High Cascades of southern Oregon. You can find out more at
Pastor Diana Shadley is affiliated with the Kahnawake Band of Mohawk, First Nations, Quebec, Canada. She married a member of the Wasco and Klamath Tribes. She and her husband became ministers. She teaches and encourages worship of the Creator (Jesus) the way He created each individual, incorporating language, dance, instruments, songs and story telling.

Needle Rock Press, 346 pages.

I received a complimentary egalley of this book through The Book Club Network for the purpose of an independent and honest review.

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