His grandfather turned away from his son.
He's a city kid who avoids the wilderness even more than his dad shuns his Native Alaskan roots, and it's up to him to turn back ecological disaster.
This parable about a possible future world mixes bioengineered plant plagues with Native American/First Peoples/Native Alaskan mythology and symbols as a reluctant hero must decide whether to get involved in the struggle to rebalance the earth's ecology using a medicine pouch and ley line nodes and other stuff that freaks him out, like that raven.
The Raven Duet begun in Trickster's Girl brings fresh awareness of humankind's effects on our ecosystems as we read this second book to see if the Traitor's Son will really come through. We'd better make every day Earth Day.
Book info: Traitor's Son (The Raven Duet, book 2) / Hilari Bell. Houghton Mifflin, 2012. [author's website] [publisher site]
My Recommendation: The leather pouch that she tosses to him must be contraband, drugs, something illegal. Jason can’t imagine any other reason that the teen would risk being shot – with real bullets - to get it over the Alaskan border. He certainly couldn’t imagine that it was the only hope for healing the Earth.
He’s only at the border station to pick up his father’s client and drive him back to Anchorage in the vintage electric sportscar he loves so well. Lots of well-earned perks for a Native Alaskan lawyer who was willing to leave his village and defend a lawsuit that made anyone less than one-fourth Native blood - like his own son Jason - ineligible to inherit Native properties and made his people call him a traitor.
Maybe it’s time to visit his grandparents again, Jason thinks, especially after he dreams of an old Native woman who warns him of a young man coming to steal the leather pouch. Then the new Native girl at his school starts him thinking about heritage and ecological disaster and even nature (strange for a city boy like him).
Odd, disturbing things happen when Jase visits his grandparents’ Native village, each one proving that the girl Raven is right about the earth’s ecology falling further out of balance. When she transforms herself into a real raven, Jase begins to believe she might really know what the medicine pouch can do to heal the earth.
How much is this city boy willing to risk to see if she’s right? Being only three-sixteenths Native Alaskan, can he truly step into the spirit world to fight? Traitor’s Son completes the story begun in Trickster’s Girl in this high-tech, high-security future United States whose only hope is the magic recounted in ancient folklore. (One of 5,000 books recommended on www.abookandahug.com) Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.