Two Hearts Two Spirits

TwoHeartsTwoSpiritsLGTitle: Two Hearts Two Spirits
Author: Michael Halfhill
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Buy Link: Amazon.com
Genre: Historical M/M
Length: Novella (114 PDF pages)
Rating:  4.5 stars out of 5

A guest review by Tj

Summary Review: A wonderfully descriptive adventure and sweet love story with one of my favorite themes – 2 spirited people.

The Blurb: Helki and Igashu, friends and constant companions since childhood, will soon perform the tribal ritual of the Bow and the Basket. Choosing the basket means living a domestic life, to be a Two-Spirit, a lover of men. To choose the bow means becoming a provider, the head of the family, and a warrior, if war should come. Both are worthy choices, but for Igashu, his father’s sole surviving son, the obligation to lead his family after his father’s death presses heavily on his heart. Yet if Helki and Igashu choose different paths, their love may not survive.

The Review: I must confess that I am absolutely fascinated by the concept of two spirited people – the belief that gay men and women possess both the male and female spirit and have a special purpose in life. So when I read the blurb for Two Hearts Two Spirits I just had to read it. And I am happy to say that I was not disappointed. I was snowbound at home and had this book to read – and couldn’t put it down. Thanks goodness I had the time to devote to it or everything would’ve come to a halt in my life! I was immediately caught up in the loving bond between Helki and Igashu, who are wonderfully drawn.

Helki is very self aware and knows that he is in love with his friend Igashu and wishes only to be with him, to love him. He is studying with the village Wise One who is approaching the end of his life, and needs to ready Helki to take his place. Conversely, Igashu is not as certain of his place in the tribe. He truly loves Helki, but as the last male descendant of his blood line, wishes to honor his parents by marrying a woman and producing heirs. He now must declare his wishes in the basket and bow ceremony.

The prose in Two Hearts Two Spirits is beautifully descriptive, evoking the sights and smells of their village and the surrounding landscape. I could almost smell the pine trees, and feel the cool waters. The main characters of Helki and Igashu are very well developed and I fell in love with both of them right away, wishing them a happy ending together. There are also several interesting secondary characters that added nicely to the overall story, most notably Igashu’s parents, uncle and cousin, the Wise One and Helki’s mother.

There is quite a bit of time spent on Igashu’s Vision Quest, an adventure in itself, wherein he endures many physical trials in his journey to self awareness. This also lead to some surprising encounters that put an interesting perspective on the whole story. I must warn readers that although this is an M/M, there is no sex in the story, but for me it was not needed and did not detract from my enjoyment at all. There is a really nice HEA that left me smiling, which BTW I still am while writing this review.

I highly recommend Two Hearts Two Spirits to those of you who enjoy beautiful prose, well developed characters and a sweet love story.

24 comments

  • sounds like a beautiful read. As to Indian tribes, so many vanished or were eradicated by the white man that it’s hard to be sure. One of my protags in Longhorns was a descendent of the Nasonis and I had several people question whether there was such a tribe, but, yes, there was, pretty much gone by the 19th century, though. So, the Nawatee may have suffered the same fate.

    Reply
    • Hi Victor,
      This was really well written and very enjoyable for me. Michael Halfhill had sent me an email after this review was posted and mentioned that the tribe was an amalgamation of several different tribes, based on some extensive research. They did feel real when I was reading, so I felt that Michael did an excellent job in their depiction. Thanks for your thoughts. Now I’ll have to check out Longhorns, which I’ve not read yet.

      Reply
  • Hi TJ! I had time yesterday and finished this book. I really enjoyed it and am glad I got it. My Grandmother read a lot of Indian mythology with me as I was growing-up. This brought back a lot of good memories for me. The major difference being that instead of the Indian maiden getting the chieftain, here the Indian chiefs get each other! We’ve come along way in our literature!
    Thanks for the rec!

    Reply
    • Hi Reggie – That is so great to hear! I love getting feedback from other readers – even if they don’t agree with me. 🙂 But I’m very glad that you enjoyed Two Hearts Two Spirits as much I did. And yes, we sure have come a long way baby!

      Reply
  • Thanks for the intriguing review, Tj!

    As with Cole I noticed this some time back but forgot. Now it will go on my TBR.

    Do you know about the book “Two Spirits” by Walter L. Williams and Toby Johnson? I have that on my TBR, too, and I think it could be worth a look for everyone who’s interested in this two spirit theme. @ Val & Cole

    Reply
    • Hi Lilli,

      Two Spirits looks amazing! I’m definitely going to read it. Thanks for the recommendation 🙂

      Sounds like something Val would love too

      Reply
      • Hi Cole! I too looked this up on Amazon. It looks like it could be a great book. Since it’s historical fiction can you review it on this sight if/when you read it? I’d love to know what you think of it… Just a thought : )
        Happy Reading!

        Reply
        • Hi Reggie! I requested Two Spirits and I’ve just received it, so I’ll be reviewing it in the next couple of weeks! Thanks for the rec 🙂

          Reply
  • Thanks TJ! I never would have given this a look. I generaly don’t buy novellas because I’m skeptical of the word building. This sounds great though. I love prose that puts me right into the scene incorporating the senses. With a short story I don’t want 5 pages spent on who’s hand is where-ooooooh aaaaaaah. This one is definately goin on my TBR list. Thanks TJ

    Reply
    • Hi Reggie – I thought the world building was beautifully done and I truly felt what the characters were experiencing. I hope you enjoy THTS. And please drop a comment afterwards to let us know what you thought.

      Reply
  • TJ, this sounds so intriguing! Could you give me a little more info (that is, if the author included it). What’s the time period? Before Columbus? After? What’s the Native American tribe involved? The cover almost makes me think it’s from my area (e.g., Navajo or Apache) which would be way cool. Great review!

    Reply
    • Thanks Val! The tribe was called the Nawatees, which I couldn’t find out anything about on the Internet so perhaps they are fictional. The story initially takes place in the early 20th century (1910 to be exact), but then near the end there is a scene in current time. I felt that the writing was so good that the story is both timeless and could really be about any tribe.

      Reply
      • Thanks, TJ, very much for the info. My interest is dropping at this point. I’d prefer a specific, real tribe with actual research, but that’s just me. 🙂 Thanks again!

        Reply
  • Teej
    I just love your review of this story and all of your reviews, for that matter. You have such a way of enticing the readers into the stories and I really want to read this book. The sex or lack of it is not a consideration for me – I just love great storytelling and Two Hearts, Two Spirits seems to be a great story.

    Thank you so much for this review Tj. 🙂 This is definitely going to the top of my TBR pile (the one that’s in danger of crashing to the ground like the book covers).

    Reply
    • Thank you Wave. That is really nice to hear. Honestly, I did not even realize that there was no sex until I got to the end. That’s how well written I thought the story was. I was completely engrossed in the characters and couldn’t wait to see what happened to them. And LOL regarding the TBR pile. I will never get to the end of mine either.

      Reply
  • This one sounds perfect for me TJ and I remember reading the blurb a while back. Sadly, I forgot about it so thank you for bringing it back to my attention. Wonderful review. I’ve been fascinated by Vision Quests since I was little… Must be the Cherokee in me 🙂

    I always look forward to your reviews TJ, thank you.

    Reply
    • Why Cole, you sweet talker you! Thank you. THTS was really well written, and fascinating for me to read. I really liked the vision quest aspect as much as the romance. I’d love to know what you think after you read this.

      Reply
      • I know the way to a man’s heart Tj 🙂

        I will definitely be reading this one, so I’ll let you know. I’m looking forward to it!

        Reply

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