Joseph Boyden’s powerful historical war novel, Orenda, takes place in the mid-1600 in Lower Canada when First Nations tribes and French Jesuit priests collided with each other in their quest for supremacy. Like all wars then and now, battles were won and lost with gratuitous violence and cruelty. The detailed and vivid description of two First Nations cultures competing for power by any means possible, and the great human suffering and loss of lives involved is haunting and heart wrenching.
The staggering human tragedies experienced by the characters involved as told by a Jesuit priest on a mission to impose his religion on a scared and starving people, by a young Iroquois girl whose visions of revenge are transformed into love, and a Wendat leader who comes to the realization that his vindictive actions may have caused the destruction of his people, are heartbreaking and tragic.
An absolute brilliant read.