Connect with us

Anishinabek News

Book review: Tread of Angels

Published

on

Reviewed by Karl Hele

Drawing from Western American history as well as various Christian tropes, Rebecca Roanhorse’s novella, Tread of Angels, is a marvellous and engaging story.  The work draws on the experiences of mixed-ancestry people in the United States in silver rush towns to explore themes of racism, prejudice, infidelity, passing, justice, destruction, and renewal.

Tread of Angels is set in a mining town, Goetia, segregated between the Elect (i.e., Settlers) and the Fallen (i.e.,  Black, Indigenous, and other racialized minorities). Celeste, the main character, crosses these seemingly clearly demarcated boundaries through her mixed ancestry – her dad was among the Elect while her mother was Fallen. Unlike her sister Mariel, Celeste does not outwardly carry the mark of the Fallen, a golden circle around the iris thereby allowing her some forms of ‘freedom.’

When Mariel is accused of brutally murdering a member of the Elect, Celeste seeks to establish her sister’s innocence. The novella follows Celeste, her Fallen friends, and an ex-lover demon general named Abraxas as she weaves through the ‘Hallowed Halls’ of the Elect, which are rife with internal dissension, barbarism, political intrigue, and hypocrisy. As Celeste tries to establish her sister’s innocence, the prejudice, exploitation, and segregation imposed and maintained in Goetia by the Elect is raw and highly visible. The Tread of Angels’ climax takes place in the circle of Virtue Court where Celeste and Mariel both face their pasts and futures.

Tread of Angels is an excellent short read that not-so-subtly explores the sordid pasts and presents of resource-dependent communities that are stratified on race and class. It is evocative, emotive, engaging, and gripping.  The work is an excellent blend of fantasy, history, and Christian symbolism by an Indigenous author who is masterful storyteller. While the work appears to be a stand-alone book, I do hope that Roanhorse returns to Celeste, Mariel, Abraxas, and the town of Goetia in future works.  Tread of Angels is a great fantasy story.

Rebecca Roanhorse, Tread of Angels. Toronto: Saga Press, 2022.

ISBN: 9781982166182

Continue Reading

Anishinabek News

Lead Facilitator – Circle Process

Published

on

By

ANISHINABEK NATION “To give a voice to the vision of the Anishinabek Nation and to preserve  Anishinaabe Bimaadziwin while advancing our goal of Nationhood.” Employment Opportunity LEAD FACILITATOR – CIRCLE […]

Continue Reading

Anishinabek News

Rice will serve as a mentor for program featuring budding Indigenous writers

Published

on

By

By Sam Laskaris SUDBURY – When Anishinabek writer Waubgeshig Rice found out he had a chance to serve as a mentor for young Indigenous writers he jumped at the opportunity. […]

Continue Reading

Anishinabek News

Inherent rights highlighted at the 8th annual Anishinabek Nation Lands and Resources Forum

Published

on

By

By Kelly Anne Smith NORTH BAY— Concerns of climate change, extreme mining claims, and the health of the Great Lakes were heard over three days at the 8th annual Anishinabek […]

Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © 2023 5039589 Ontario Inc.