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James A Wright

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Destiny Comes on the Wind - The Legend of Opechancanough
by James A Wright   

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Category: 

Historical Fiction

Publisher:  James A. Wright at Smashword.com Type: 

Copyright:  Mar 4, 2012 ISBN-13:  9781466048980
Fiction

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This book is partly based on actual historical events, myths, and legends surrounding the life of Paramount Chief Opechancanough of the Powhatan Confederation. More than anything else, it is the story of one man's determined efforts to stop the relentless encroachment of the Europeans that would seek to destroy the culture of his people and change forever their way of life.

 The Premise

     This account is partly based on actual historical events, myths, and legends surrounding the life of Paramount Chief Opechancanough of the Powhatan Confederation of Tribes. I was inspired to write this novel when I learned that I was a direct descendant of Opechancanough some twelve generations ago. This fictional account is given from the perspective of Opechancanough and the natives of the New World. This strong leader influenced and was involved in many historical events over his long lifetime. More than anything else, it is the story of one man's determined efforts to stop the relentless encroachment of those that would seek to dominate his people and change forever their way of life. Many Europeans and Native inhabitants would perish in the inevitable struggle for domination.
      The elements of this book include: high adventure, drama, brutal wars, romance, supernatural spirits, religion, politics, deception, and true historical events. Although the story primarily takes place in the 16th and 17th century it concludes in the present day. 
      The primary character's Algonquian speaking people are believed to be the descendants of hunter-gatherers that crossed an ancient land bridge from Asia thousands of years ago. There is some evidence that additional genetics may have come from early Viking explorers as well. The Viking physical traits of reddish hair, taller stature, and paler skin set these northeastern coastal tribes apart from the other indigenous people of North and South America.
      This story begins early in the year 1561. It was a time of exploration before there were any European settlements in the Chesapeake Bay. It would be 46 years before the English founded the nearby Jamestown colony. The European sovereigns were attempting to expand their empires and religions into this part of the New World. Much of the exploration and colonization was driven by the search for a shorter trade passage to the Orient. The prospects of incalculable wealth, free land, and religious freedom would drive men to commit horrid atrocities against each other in the name of an empire, individual greed, and the often brutal perception of their God's will.
      Some of the most perplexing mysteries involving the interaction of the European colonist and the natives tribes of the Chesapeake Bay find logical explanations in the plot. The reader will discover the reasons for the incredibly complex nature of Opechancanough, also known as Cayuga, Paquiquino, Little Francis, Don Luis Velasco, and Mangopeesomon. 
      Armed only with his great strength, unique knowledge, and his powerful longbow, an enigmatic warrior rose up to lead his people against the inevitable European invasion that he knew was destined to come on the wind.

     
Excerpt
It was fully dark when Don Luis rode the weary Pokeeto into the courtyard of the chapel. He handed the reins to Hector, but he would not speak a single word to him. Maria knocked on his door with some food, but he would not answer. Padre Ramon came and took her arm and led her back to the kitchen. Padre Ramon had a worried look on his face that was unmistakable. He insisted that she sit down at the table, and he tightly held both her hands.

"You must understand that there is no way I can tell you this without the pain it will surely cause you. Don Luis has just learned of the death of his beloved Marina by the pox sickness. He will have to cope with it the best way that he can and we must help him."

Maria totally lost her composure and pulled her hands from the padre's to cover her face.

"I feel so terrible for his loss since. I had been his only confidant about Marina."

"I know. People confess these things to me all the time. I was summoned by Don Poncho to officiate at Marina's funeral."

Padre Ramon also told her that only one young boy had survived from the Native School where Marina was a teacher.

"Both of the boy's parents are also dead along with hundreds of the local Native population. The only good news is that there are no newly stricken Natives reported. This could mean that the danger is nearly over for the surviving full-blooded Natives. I know this may be of little comfort to you and Don Luis, but God will help us get through our grief."

Maria went to her bed with a heavy heart that night. She could not think of anything to say to Don Luis to console his loss of Marina. She had not had the chance to tell him of the solution that Padre Ramon had given her. Perhaps it would be best if he would never know how things could have been. She fully confided to Hector that night her part in the conspiracy surrounding Don Luis's tragic love affair with Marina.

The next morning, Don Luis set out walking into the city on his own and without breakfast. His determined unspoken purpose was indicated by his quick stride. He soon reached the office of his friend and mayor, Don Manuel, and impatiently waited for him to arrive. When Don Manuel found him waiting outside, he had him come into his private office.

"Is there something I can do for you my friend," he asked the stoic Don Luis.

"I was told by Don Poncho's wife, Paloma, that a young boy called Diego was the only survivor of the children that attended the Native School. I must know what is being done to help him," he explained.

"I am familiar with the boy’s situation. Both of his parents are dead from the sickness and we are searching for any living relatives. He now lives with a Mestizo woman who is mostly supported by Padre Ramon’s parish."

"Do they need anything to support his care?" Don Luis inquired.

"Padre Ramon assures me that his parish has more than adequate funds to fill the boy’s immediate needs."

"I would like to visit the boy to be certain of this myself," Don Luis requested. Don Manuel saw the intense determination on his face and agreed to take him to see the boy that minute.

On their way to the home of the boy’s temporary guardian, Don Manuel asked Don Luis why he was so strongly interested in the boy’s situation.

"Marina came to me in my dreams last night and asked me to attend to the boy’s needs at once." Don Manuel thought that he must still be suffering from his sickness to some extent. He did not know who Marina was for that matter. He further thought it was best to indulge his friend's request for the sake of his state of mind and the debt of gratitude he surely owed him.

The boy was playing cheerfully and appeared fine except for the many healing pox marks that could be easily seen on his face and torso. He had refused to wear a shirt due to the itching it caused him. Don Luis could certainly sympathize with his wishes in that respect.

He approached Diego and sat down beside him where he played in the sand. Diego eventually told him that he was waiting for his mother to come for him, and that he was ready to go home now.

"I will go and search for your mother," he promised the brave seven year old boy.

"Is this all that you need, Diego?" he asked him lastly. Diego nodded his head and went back to his play things in the sand.

"I am ready to leave now, Don Manuel," Don Luis said. As they left the house, Don Manuel asked him what he would do now.

"You heard Diego. He wants me to find him a mother, so that is what I must do for him."

"That will be a difficult task, Don Luis."

"Even so, that is what I must do," he said as he left Don Manuel standing in front of the house.


Professional Reviews

Destiny Comes on the Wind - The Legend of Opechancanough (Kindle Edition)
I'm currently reading a new author's Historical Fiction entitled, Destiny Comes on the Wind - The Legend of Opechancanough. Destiny Comes on the Wind - The Legend of Opechancanough. This debut novel is an impressive achievement with great characters, storyline, and an obviously huge amount of research that must have gone in to it's creation. The author is a real-life descendant of the main character, a Powhatan Chief in the time of the Jamestown settlement and is based on real historical events. It is a long read, but never tedious or boring, (it covers the title characters' entire lifetime), and could have easily been turned into a trilogy or series. Taken captive as a young warrior and educated in white society, Opechancanough led several fascinating lives. I know I'm reading something special if I find myself envisioning this book as an awesome movie. I even speculate on which actors might play the various characters. If you're like me, and you are sad when you finish a great book, this one will at least delay that sentiment! I will be anxiously awaiting this author's next work.


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