The Vision Quest is the first short-story exploring the lives of Daniel “Two Horses” Thorne-Redstone and his friend. We are only introduced to Two Horses in The Vision Quest.
After Daniel had been on his own vision quest, his name became Two Horses and he was now considered a Penateka warrior. While visiting his grandmother, Two Horses shared his experiences of his vision quest. Two Horses’ vision quest is fraught with danger and mystery.
I cannot speak to the story’s authenticity with regards to the Penateka vision quests. The information I found pointed towards it being fairly OK. Nor am I certain of the story’s intended audience.
With those provisos, I found The Vision Quest a warm story about a young man’s coming-of-age ritual and his understanding of that ritual.
“Alia went still as she remembered exactly where she’d seen him before. It swept out from her childhood memories like canyon debris washed out by a flash flood …”
Memories have power. In Alia’s case these memories were triggered at a point in her life where a choice needed choosing. That choice brings her deeper into lore and traditions she loves. Following those traditions and that lore has the potential of making her more of an outsider than she is already.
While reading I wondered if McKinley was Navajo/Hopi himself. At the very least he must have researched the matter. Skinwalkers at one time worked for the benefit of the people but are now considered evil. Alia also believes they are evil until she discovers that everything depends on what side you are on.
Brian Patrick McKinley clearly has a talent for writing and has added to the joys of my reading obsession.
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