Four thousand years ago along the Rio Grande Deer Cloud is painting the stories of his gods in a small rockshelter in the canyon. When his influential grandfathers dies, Deer Cloud must finish the painting and undertake the ordeals of the wolf shrines to gain the power to lead his people. But the jealous shaman Stone Face will do anything, even kill, to stop Deer Cloud from reaching his goals. Deer Cloud must walk the narrow ledge between tradition and change. He must walk it without seeing, blind, as we often do in life. The female shaman Jumping Rabbit takes him under her wing and introduces him to the hallucinogenic peyote cactus, which brings the gods in glorious visions. Stone Face challenges Deer Cloud to call a herd of buffalo that have been spotted by the scouts. Whoever brings them to the people will lead the Rain Bringer clan. Stone Face uses his all his traditions to attract the herd. Deer Cloud turns to peyote instead, as he meditates in a cold cave under a cliff. Suddenly the cave begins to rumble, and the buffalo stampede off the cliff, scooping up Stone Face on the way. This is the first novel to bring the ancient people of the Rio Grande to life, along with their rich spiritual and ceremonial customs. Based on years of research, Peyote Fire is the most accurate representation of life in this part of ancient America currently available.
About the Author
Mary S. Black fell in love with the Lower Pecos more than twenty years ago. Since then she has studied the archaeology and related ethnography of the area with numerous scholars. She has an Ed.D. from Harvard University in Human Development and Psychology and lives in Austin with her husband, an archaeologist, and two cats.