'In her stories of ancient Egypt, Joan Grant has proved her power of historical vision and her purity of style; in this totally different medium they are as strikingly shown' wrote the Daily Telegraph when Scarlet Feather, set in pre-Columban America, came out in 1945. An exciting and unusual love story, it is also call to arms for the emancipation of women and men trapped in traditional roles. Amessage of its time, it speaks as clearly to ours today.
Piyanah, the heroine of Scarlet Feather, is a member of a Native American tribe that has strayed from its noble heritage. Her clairvoyant mother refuses to accept the tribe's restrictiveness, brutality, and sexual segregation, so Piyanah and her cousin Raki grow up as outsiders. When she learns that her father is Chief Na-ka-chek, Piyanah chooses to defy her people's traditions. Instead of learning the skills of a squaw alongside the other girls, she insists on undergoing the ordeals of a Brave, overcoming daunting physical and spiritual challenges. Meanwhile, her beloved Raki learns from the squaws, thereby gaining the knowledge and empath-ic abilities of women. If their education is successful, Piyanah and Raki will succeed the Chief as a pair-as long as they can pass the final series of ordeals that will prove them worthy of the Scarlet Feather.
As a child growing up in Edwardian England, Joan Grant became aware of an astonishing ability to remember previous lifetimes and as an author professed her seven novels to be based on her personal recollections of other incarnations, male and female, in ancient civilisations.
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