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Publisher's Summary

Dreams tell old man Paul T'Sosi he's dying. So why is Navajo trickster Magpie trying to tell him a far more terrifying secret?

Hungry for revenge, Ma'iitsoh Dine', the Navajo Wolf, is out for blood. Summoning his darkest powers, the Witch of Ganado circles tribal investigator Charlie Yazzie's young son and close friends. Some may survive the witch's evil vendetta, but others will die to settle an old score.

Critics describe R. Allen Chappell's writing as "embedded and close to the ground", with an intuitive knowledge of the Navajo people and their land. Magpie Speaks, the follow-up to the widely acclaimed thriller Mojado, cements Chappell's legacy and puts him at the forefront of modern-day Navajo mystery storytellers.

©2016 R. Allen Chappell (P)2016 Tantor

What members say

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  • Jean
  • Santa Cruz, CA, United States
  • 06-12-16

Stimulating

I have enjoyed reading this series about the Navajo and book five continues to delight. This story is more about Navajo mythology than the prior books. Two of the Navajo tricksters play a key role in the story, the magpie and the coyote.

Paul T’Sosi thinks he might be dying. Paul is a Hatalii, a Singer as the Navajo call their Holy Men. He has been working hard to protect his family and now Charlie’s new son from a curse. Edward Bitsinnii is Paul’s half brother, who also studied to be a Singer. Edward instead turned the power toward evil and is known as the “Witch of Ganado”. He put a curse on Paul and his family including Ponyboy. Paul’s granddaughter Alice has returned, she is dying of a brain tumor. All this is intertwined about a series of murders and the curse. Chappell builds the suspense mixed with the mythology and kept me on the edge of my seat.

The book is well written and researched. The story is a character study of the Navajo culture. Chappell also includes the Navajo attitude and mindset between the old ways and modern life. The author includes many Navajo words in the story as well as Navajo history. The book is fast paced and easy to read. The reader can just enjoy the murder mystery and learn more about the Navajo people in an exciting and easy manner. Chappell creates a surprise ending to the story. Kaipo Schwab does an excellent job narrating the book.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

I'll miss these characters

If and Until #6 is written, I will miss these characters, but I'm likely to visit them again if there is to be no more. They have grown, suffered, rejoiced, been foolish and brave and even wise. The stories are strong, the evil is awful and often difficult (especially, for me, in Book #5). The narrator is outstanding.

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  • e.
  • 06-22-16

Not Quite Hillerman But Promising

Would you listen to Magpie Speaks again? Why?

Probably not for a while.

Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

Yes. Edwards' evil was palpable and pervasive theme. In contrast, Alices emergance and eventual redemption was an unforseen wild card.

Did the narration match the pace of the story?

Unfortunately, if you grew up on Guidells' pronunciation and inflection, Schwabs' seems a bit shallow. However, I'm no judge of which is more correct.

If you could take any character from Magpie Speaks out to dinner, who would it be and why?

???

Any additional comments?

Having been thru all Tony H several times, one is left with a void. Anne H. will hopefully continue her series but here we have a new family of characters to enjoy as they grow and develop under the authors pen.