Book Review: The Peacemaker by Chelley Kitzmiller

The Peacemaker by Chelley Kitzmiller is the first book in the Warriors of the Wind series. is a historical romance set after the civil war, while the Native American population and the new settlers were at in their own war. Independence Taylor is the daughter of a military officer. She has defied his orders and come to the Arizona Territory to take care of him, even though he seems to blame her for the deaths of her mother and brother. En route, her group is attacked, and they are rescued by Shatto, a warrior who has often helped the military base nearby. Indy's father is less than thrilled by her arrival and the current state of affairs. The military men under his command have no faith in him, since he relies on military teaching that do not apply to warfare with the Native American tribes. Soon her father must compromise, and Indy discovers that the mysterious Shatto is really Major Jim Garrity, who narrowly missed being hung for a crime he did not commit. The ongoing danger and the attraction between Indy and Jim keep rising throughout the book, moving them all towards peace or utter chaos.

The Peacemaker does a good job of imparting some information about the beliefs of the Apache people, describing the divided loyalties of its characters, and building the characters in a realistic way. The lifestyle and attitudes of the military base seemed very accurate and realistic, as did the danger of the time. However, there were definite moments that made the book feel like it was trying to be christian fiction, and others when the mystic power of the wind came to surround Jim. I also felt like some sort of explanation or final conflict with Indy's father was lacking, it felt like I was cheated out of some resolution there. The same goes for Jim's military complications, it seemed a little too easily wrapped up, but there were some difficulties on the horizon. I think my favorite bit of the book was the romance that is begun between secondary characters.

The Peacemaker was not a bad book, but I do not think I will be recommending it to many people either. I think 'meh' or 'okay' might be the best words to describe it. It was fine for a day's reading to break up the more intense books I have been reading lately, but it did not leave me feeling satisfied or eager to discuss the book either. If you have nothing to read and are looking for something to fill the gap, then feel free to read. However, if your top be read pile is as large as mine, I say skip to the next book.
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