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Raymond S Edge

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Member Since: May, 2008

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Flight of the Piasa
by Raymond S Edge   

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Historical Fiction

Publisher:  ReDoubt Books Type: 


Copyright:  June 7, 2007 ISBN-13:  9780979473708

Along the high cliffs overlooking the Mississippi River in central Illinois, a strange mural stares down from the rocky face. It is of the Piasa [pie-uh-saw], a creature of myth and legend that is more terrifying than any other found in Native American lore. Its very name means “bird that devours men.” First described by French explorers Marquette and Joliet in 1673 and later called “America’s most fascinating free roadside attraction,” the Piasa is shrouded in legend, its origins obscured by time, with no known date of creation, name of creator, or purpose.

While climbing among the caves that dot the cliff face near the Piasa, Daniel French, an archaeology major at Southern Illinois University finds a clue that helps him unravel the mystery behind the ancient enigmatic petroglyph.

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When  Daniel French, an archaeology major at Southern Illinois University sets out for a romantic picnic under the mysterious cliff painting known as the Piasa Bird, he unwittingly finds himself involved in an ancient tale filled with passion, sacrifice, love, and loss.

As he seeks to unravel the truth behind the mysterious pictograph, he will embark on an adventure involving three ancient civilizations, a tale that spans two thousand years and covers four continents. As French digs ever deeper in his quest, he learns that there is more to the Piasa than meets the eye..


As she approached, Donna saw that he was looking into a small dry alcove that had been exposed by the collapse of the cave wall. She came closer as he shined the light directly on what had excited him. Lying flat on a raised area of the small pocket was a skeleton. Something near the hand of the body caused the reflection that had originally attracted his attention. Wow," said Daniel, "Who do you suppose this was, and when?"
"Don't know, don't care," replied Donna, her shivering increasing from the cold, the darkness, and now the unnerving presence of the skeleton. As an art major, she had little of the fascination for old dead things that Danield seemed to have. "But I do know it's time to get out of here. It may have been someone like us who got lost and couldn't get out. Maybe he was trapped by the wall caving in?" She shined her light across the ceiling as if trying to spot the next loose rock about to crash down from above.

Professional Reviews

A Fun Read
This is a fun read where the author has woven a tapestry of history, myth, religion, and archeology into a compelling story with plenty of romance and action. Drawing on the myths and cultures of three continents, the author presents an interesting alternative history that describes a line from Ancient Troy, to China, and finally to the New World. Although the novel contains a wealth of historical and archeological information, the story is an enjoyable and easy read. I look forward to reading more about the lovely Snow Pine's future in the Americas as well as Daniel's continued struggle to walk the line between the cold facts of academia and the speculations of a creative mind.

Fascinating Blend of Fact and Fiction
Touching base with Greek, Chinese, and Native American traditions, Flight of the Piasa seamlessly combines historical facts with believable fiction to create a timeless love story. The protagonist, Sun Kai, struggles to unite with the love of his life, Snow Pine, through the creation of an Empire, the horrors of war, the building of the Great Wall of China, and, finally, the crossing to a new world. Tragic, uplifting, suspenseful, fascinating - Flight of the Piasa is a page turner from beginning to end.

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