Title: 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.