Apache by Tanya Landman

by

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After Mexican raiders attack and kill her family, Siki has no option but to join the male Apache warriors to avenge their deaths. So begins the thrilling tale of courage and survival of Siki and her tribe, the Black Mountain Apache.

Although she only young, Siki is taken seriously by the elders as she has the deaths of her mother and brother to avenge. Accepted as a novice warrior she is set numerous tasks and lessons and learns to pass through the pain barrier on her way to becoming a fully-fledged warrior who will serve the Apache Nation.

Risks, enemies within, and the ‘white-eye’ soldiers and settlers test the Apaches. Siki is also personally tested: she has to confront rumours about her absent, possibly dead father. Was he a coward?

With the coming of the ‘white-eyes’, it is easy for readers to see how prejudices grow from simple misunderstandings; how warfare comes from misinformation, fear and differences. There are also many parallels to be drawn between the experiences of the Indigenous Americans and Indigenous Australians.

The cover features an amazing photograph of a thirteen-year-old Apache girl, who appears to look right into your soul. Within two years of the photograph being taken in 1899, she was dead.

The first-person narration of Apache: Girl Warrior encourages the reader to identify with Siki and her people and join with them on their journey. The horrors and injustices endured by the Apache are also endured by the reader; I felt as though I was beside Siki throughout her triumphs and ordeals. There was rarely a moment when my heart was not thudding with fear or anticipation during this action-based story. The setting is brought to life with wonderful descriptions of the landscape.

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