If you’re bored of the usual Tudor-era or ancient Egyptian historical fiction novels and are craving something different, author K.B. Laugheed has you covered. Her historical fiction novel The Spirit Keeper: A Novel revolves around frontier-era America and a young Irish immigrant named Katie O’Toole. Katie is the overworked and unhappy 13th child who dreams of a better life where she doesn’t have to constantly care for her siblings or be abused by her alcoholic father.
Her life is turned upside down when she is saved from a raiding party by two Native American men. One, whose name is Syawa, is a Holyman whose dreams have led him to Katie’s door, and his companion is named Hector. Both have been searching for ‘the Creature of Ice and Fire’ and they believe it’s Katie thanks to their fiery red curls and ice-blue eyes. Although Katie is skeptical, she doesn’t want to return to her abusive family and so agrees to accompany both men on their journey home. As they make their way through the woods, Katie learns she must become Syawa’s ‘Spirit-Keeper,’ a role which will change her mind and heart forever.
Despite the fact that Laugheed’s heroine lives in 1747-era America, Katie’s a spitfire and is sure to endear herself to modern female readers. The author also does a decent job of humanizing her Native American heroes. While one is the stereotypical shaman, both men are fully-fleshed out characters and not offensive caricatures. While not the longest book in the world, the Spirit Keeper is a short read that is perfect for a rainy day or a lazy weekend around the house!