AN UPLIFTING TALE OF OVERCOMING OBSTACLES
Title: Journey through Sattara
Author: Renee P. Brooks
Publisher: Renee P. Brooks
Release Date: October 16, 2013
*** Copy provided by Author in exchange for an honest review***
Journey deep into the heart of the Sattara Jungle where the story of two rival tribes (the Ja’Ka Tribe and the Ya’Tu Tribe) is captured.
After years of war and bitter rivalry, their revenge for one another is halted by what is believed to be a curse placed on them by the Gods. Six years of famine, poverty, and grief steal the livelihood of the two tribes, and they have no choice but to settle their differences.
Despite the hatred buried deep in the hearts of the men and women of both tribes, they try to reach some kind of common ground. After the birth of two blessed children (Su’Ma born to the Ja’Ka People and Ne’Ya born to the Ya’Tu People) they divide their newly discovered territory and set forth rules that are very simple for all to follow.
No trading, No communication, No cohabiting, No mating between members of the two tribes, and the biggest rule of all No Crossing Into The Other’s Territory For Any Reason. All is well until Su’Ma and Ne’Ya meet up in the jungle at age 15. Captivated by one another, they break the one rule that has the worse consequences. The breaking of that rule excites the fire between the two tribes that can only be put out in one way. War! [… ]
Journey Through the Sattara by Renee P. Brooks, is a very unique work of fiction that takes the reader back to the very roots of storytelling. Presented as a fable, Brooks’ narrative is told through a stripped back, third person omniscient voice that not only relays the motivations, thoughts and feelings of her characters, but also the important lessons that the reader is to take away from her text. Paired with an interesting plot that diverges and converges around the two tribes at the centre of the book’s conflict, Journey Through the Sattara keeps the reader interested from the very first page.
While I was, at first, surprised by the way the book was written, once I got my head around the writing style I found I really enjoyed it and became quickly immersed in the story and interested in its characters. I loved this book for its straightforward themes and clean, simple storytelling. Brooks explores several classic themes, star crossed lovers, the bonds of family, betrayal, day vs. night, dark vs. light, gender roles, overcoming boundaries, freedom and exploration without sounding stale or repetitive. These themes are sprinkled with a hint of magic spread through the pages that is always closely linked with the wonders of nature. There is an appeal to a way of life that our modern society has largely forgotten, and that is a respect for one’s elders and the wisdom and knowledge they hold within from their experiences to pass down to new generations.
Within the construction of the protagonists, Ne’Ya and Su’ma, there are several layers of tradition, spirituality, self-discovery and growth that the reader is slowly exposed to throughout the reading of this moral and lesson-fueled adventure. As we follow the paths of these two, special individuals we are exposed to the different cultures and beliefs of their respective tribes and introduced to the themes of light vs. darkness and good vs. evil. Where Ne’Ya’s Ya’Tu tribe is matriarchal, nature and spirit based, Su’Ma’s Ja’Ka tribe is about patriarchy, physicality and brute force. While the two main characters come from very different sides of the spectrum, it is the combination of the best of both worlds that creates such a special bond between the two main characters and drives them along the path to their shared destiny.
Following the arc of the narrative, the reader is introduced to the many supporting characters that will play intrinsic roles in seeing the protagonists through their trials and tribulations. One special married couple from Ne’Ya’s tribe who take the two outcasts into their home and treat them as they would their own children. We meet a host of brave children and one significant young girl with a helpful ability. We are also introduced to another tribe entirely who are able to embrace the “otherness” of Ne’Ya and Su’Ma without any sign of the intolerance their own tribes show each other. Most definitely my favourite supporting character has to be Jungle Cat, whose unique “persona” becomes a treasured asset to the battles that Ne’Ya and Su’Ma have to face along the way.
Throughout this story our protagonist’s encounter betrayal after betrayal, but at the same time closely knit bonds and loyalty keep them safe from experiencing too much tragedy. This tale illustrates the importance of family, whatever form it may take, as well as the significance of growing up and the lessons we learn along the way from both our successes and failures. The author extends a message to her reader’s at the beginning of the story to “never give up” and through the narrative she explores all the difficulties and trauma we can face both at home and out in the wide world. Her character’s don’t ever give up, even upon arriving at their destiny they realize there is always more work to do and more growing to be done. It is an inspirational message wrapped up in a unique and exciting adventure.
I most certainly commend Brooks on this self-published narrative and appreciate that she has been able to share with the world something that is pure and enriching. While it may not have the sex and scintillation of other works of fiction in the popular market, and it may not be as perfect as if it had been churned out by a major publisher, the roughness adds a measure of authenticity and it is perfect for an uplifting read.