Shadow Song

by Lorina Stephens

Five Rivers Chapmanry | August 1, 2008 | Trade Paperback

Shadow Song is rated 4.83333333333333 out of 5 by 6.
Based upon a true tragedy that occurred in the village of Hornings Mills, Ontario, Canada, Shadow Song is set amid the economic ruin that occurred to so many émigrés and British pensioned officers of the 1830s. It is full of psychological and cultural contrasts of two cultures at odds with one another, and an intimate familiarity with the geography of the novel, from the immigrants' miserable landing stage at Grosse Isle into the dark reaches of Lake Superior's North Shore. What the Media Say: Lorina Stephens has proven herself an engaging author. The (Hanover) Post The book Shadow Song is as diverse as the woman who wrote it. Susan Doolan The Barrie Examiner It is often the case with contemporary Canadian authors that they have a tendency to punctuate their novels with long, psychological dissertations on mundane subjects. It's as if they feel that each everyday occurrence is fraught with deep sociological undertones. Shadow Song, fortunately, is free of such meanderings. It has a good economy of words and each paragraph contains vital information. Dan Pelton Orangeville Citizen

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 216 pages, 5.98 × 9.01 × 0.49 in

Published: August 1, 2008

Publisher: Five Rivers Chapmanry

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 097392781X

ISBN - 13: 9780973927818

Found in: Science Fiction and Fantasy

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Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Haunting Tale In this haunting tale, Lorina Stephens tells the story of Danielle Michelle Fleming. Danielle, orphaned at a young age, is sent to the wilds of Upper Canada to live with her uncle who is the cause of her family’s misfortune. She meets Shadow Song, a shaman or medicine man, who helps her escape from her uncle. With Shadow Song, Danielle learns to connect and embrace the world of dreams and spirits she was always told to fear. Danielle and Shadow Song make a life together but they are a forever trying to evade Danielle’s uncle and others seeking revenge. The book is beautifully written and it evokes the wonderful scenery and harsh conditions that native Canadians and European settlers lived in. I found the ending heartbreaking. Danielle feared her dreams (nightmares) because they became real and I wondered if her acceptance of her tragic ending meant that she knew what was coming.
Date published: 2011-01-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Great Canadian Novel Superior writing backed by meticulous research and authentic characterization elevates this cultural fantasy to candidate for Great Canadian Novel. Historical romance has ten year old girl thrust into life in 1830s Upper Canada (after sheltered aristocratic upbringing in England) and eventually into learning from First nation's shaman. Fantasy elements based on First Nation's culture as convincing and riveting as any based on usual Celtic/Anglo traditions; historical detail so finely rendered you can reach out to touch the settings; and authentic voice of 1830s heroine gives narration fine Jane Austin feel-- with maybe touch of Black Donnellys thrown in. Definitely in the best tradition of dark, slow Canadian fiction, book packs a powerful punch. (Nice cover on this edition too.) Highly recommended.
Date published: 2009-03-16
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Engrossing! I have to admit that before I started reading the novel, I made some assumptions because I've never really been that excited about Canadian history, and Shadow Song is historical fiction set in Canada, but I was pleasantly surprised by how far off my assumptions were. While the story did have a strong historical aspect, it was presented in an engrossing manner through the use of compelling characters, settings, and plot twists. I savoured the way the historical detail was presented, especially about the native culture. The descriptions of nature were beautiful, and I appreciated the respect for nature that was portrayed by the main characters. Shadow song really made me think about the way the native people were treated by the white settlers. The Anishnabeg people had so much knowledge about nature, respect, and refraining from overindulgence in nature’s resources that the settlers would have been wise to heed. There was a lot more action and suspense in Shadow Song than I would have expected. I found it very hard to put it down, resulting in quite a bit of missed sleep. I found myself genuinely concerned for the protagonist in her times of struggle and happy for her when she experienced moments of joy. This story invoked a wide range of emotions from me because it was beautiful, tragic, and sensual all at the same time. I was delightfully astounded by the sensual nature to this story because it added a new element of depth to the characters, making them seem very real. I would absolutely recommend this book, particularly to those with an interest in Canadian history or native culture. Shadow Song was well written and a joy to read!
Date published: 2008-11-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fabulous! I just finished reading "Shadow Song" by Lorina Stephens. What a wonderful book! It is a MUST read. I could not put it down. "Shadow Song" is so detailed and spellbinding, I felt as if I was truly right there amongst the characters. I am look forward to reading many more books by Lorina.
Date published: 2008-11-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Compelling Story Set in Upper Canada in early 1800, “Shadow Song” deals with the clash between European and Native cultures. The novel finely details the prejudice against the natives and how they have been deceived by the white man; add a little fantasy and you have a compelling story based on historical facts. Ms Stephen has given us a terrific novel, the blend of fantasy and fact is seamless. The matters dealing with the Native beliefs are incredibly well drawn; it is evident years of research are the bases of this novel and that the author gave her heart writing it. What is amazing, rarely one can find a novel containing so much information written in a way not to burden the flow. In this sad and tragic epic, an orphaned English girl Danielle Michelle Fleming relates her life. Eventually sent to live with an abusive uncle in Upper Canada where she manages to escape and find refuge with Shadow Song an Ojibwa shaman adopting the customs of his people. Her uncle is relentless in his hunt for her, through another shaman of evil intent he manages to track her down….The reader will admire both Danielle and Shadow Song’s strong personalities and the love and devotion they have for each other. The author has an artistic talent in describing the mystic and spiritual beliefs; you can hardly discern the lines between reality and fantasy, amazing writing. Ms Stephen has masterfully and respectfully created a tale during the time of early colonisation.
Date published: 2008-11-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Compelling Book! SHADOW SONG by Lorina Stephens is a beautifully written, compelling saga of a young girl, born into a priviledged life, who suddenly - through no fault of her own - finds herself on the other side of the world, both physically and geographically, as well as mentally and spiritually. From there the story continues to command your attention as it ensnares your heart and mind, pulling you ever forward into the fantastic world of Upper Canada's native people during the era of the 1830's. The story that unfolds is so different from life as we know it, yet so believable in it's telling, that we cannot help but become involved in this narration of one girl's journey through the rigours, remorses, rejections and romances of her life. Lorina Stephens has obviously done a lot of research in writing this historical novel and the result is a beautifully written book, which is well worth reading. I recommend it to anyone who enjoys reading, and doesn't mind becoming involved with the characters of a book. Just one word of warning though, this book stays with you - in your mind and within your heart - long after you've finished the last page.
Date published: 2008-10-18

– More About This Product –

Shadow Song

Shadow Song

by Lorina Stephens

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 216 pages, 5.98 × 9.01 × 0.49 in

Published: August 1, 2008

Publisher: Five Rivers Chapmanry

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 097392781X

ISBN - 13: 9780973927818

Read from the Book

  I remember the summer I met Shadow Song was so green it hurt my eyes. It was as if the world were carved from jade – something sacred and equally fragile. I, Danielle Michelle Fleming, was to become mesmerized by this world. This land, this Upper Canada, was a place where I would learn to breathe.That had been the summer of 1832. What brought me across the ocean from England, ultimately, were dreams. The priests said these visions were devil’s work. I was a child. How was I to know there were things the priests feared? How was I to know my visions were ambivalent? The irony of it is I never asked for this gift. I was content with a life revolving around a household of parents, governess and servants. My journey began earlier than that green summer of 1832. It began with the July Revolution of 1830 in France. I will forever remember that day, young as I was, remember how my safe English universe unravelled around a slip of paper quivering in Papa's hand. Such moment can ensue from something as simple as words on paper. I’d heard the bell ring at the front door, heard Mrs. Barton, our housekeeper, answer, the usual banter between her and the courier. As always, being curious – nosy my governess called it – I crept along the landing to watch. Papa would come to the foyer I knew. Mail was always important. It carried news of his business, news of the world, news of family. In this case it was to be news of all three. By the time I reached my favorite place, face pressed between
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From the Publisher

Based upon a true tragedy that occurred in the village of Hornings Mills, Ontario, Canada, Shadow Song is set amid the economic ruin that occurred to so many émigrés and British pensioned officers of the 1830s. It is full of psychological and cultural contrasts of two cultures at odds with one another, and an intimate familiarity with the geography of the novel, from the immigrants' miserable landing stage at Grosse Isle into the dark reaches of Lake Superior's North Shore. What the Media Say: Lorina Stephens has proven herself an engaging author. The (Hanover) Post The book Shadow Song is as diverse as the woman who wrote it. Susan Doolan The Barrie Examiner It is often the case with contemporary Canadian authors that they have a tendency to punctuate their novels with long, psychological dissertations on mundane subjects. It's as if they feel that each everyday occurrence is fraught with deep sociological undertones. Shadow Song, fortunately, is free of such meanderings. It has a good economy of words and each paragraph contains vital information. Dan Pelton Orangeville Citizen

From the Author

AfterwordThe research that went into the writing of this book spanned several years and created a journey of fascination. Some of the characters in the book are based upon actual historical characters, others leap from my imagination. The story of the tragedy in Hornings Mills is based upon a true account. In 1830, Lewis Horning, a hardy 60 year old Pennsylvania Dutchman left his prosperous holdings in the Hamilton/Ancaster area of Upper Canada to pursue a dream in the Queen's Bush. Horning, with the assistance of Henry Bates, William Silk, the Vanmear family and ten others, was to establish a settlement far from the active trading centers to the south. The land was rich, peopled by the Ojibwa and Chippewa who called themselves the Anishnabeg. To the north hardwood forest grew. Eastward flowed the Pine River and the valley that had been carved by glaciers, while to the south there were numerous small lakes ideal for mill ponds. In the west were vast beaver meadows, swales and cedar swamps, the latter two the result of poor drainage caused by the Niagara Escarpment. It was here, in the west, that the infamous Melancthon Swamps lay, swamps that were ancient, slow, moving in ways that were to shape the future of Horning's dream.So it was that by 1831, despite age and hardships, this hardy group had built grist and saw mills. Indeed it seemed the village would prosper. News of Horning's success reached Hamilton and Ancaster, and the entire project lauded.And then the summer of 18
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Editorial Reviews

Lorina Stephens has proven herself an engaging author.

The (Hanover) Post

The book Shadow Song is as diverse as the woman who wrote it.

Susan Doolan, The Barrie Examiner

It is often the case with contemporary Canadian authors that they have a tendency to punctuate their novels with long, psychological dissertations on mundane subjects. It's as if they feel that each everyday occurrence is fraught with deep sociological undertones. Shadow Song, fortunately, is free of such meanderings. It has a good economy of words and each paragraph contains vital information.

Dan Pelton, Orangeville Citizen

I’m thinking this may be the best book I’ve read all year!


Robert Runte
Reviewer for NeoOpsis