Results of the World Fantasy Award in the year 1999.
The Antelope Wife is a novel of connections in which history, lust, contemporary urban Native American life, hand-me-down names, and legends, as well as sacred myth, combine. Set in Minneapolis, originally an important trading center and hunting ground, still a magnet for many native people from nearby reservations, the story goes back in time.
The novel begins with a soldier, who deserts the cavalry during a cruel raid on an Ojibwa village to chase a dog bearing on its back a baby on a cradle board strung with breathtaking blue beads. Generations later, a fast-talking trader kidnaps a silent and graceful woman from a powwow. In a haunting re-creation of a native tale, the woman is part antelope. Hunter and hunted change identities. The Antelope Wife changes people. Nothing is ever the same again for friends and family.
Kurt Hauptmann will learn to make stained glass to help men see the glory of God, one of the many bizarre heritages handed down from his ancestry. But the family has other, more frightening secrets. The path to God runs through darkness as well as light. And the bond of a family is blood, its own and that of its enemies.
What is the strangeness in Uncle Detlef, head of the stained-glass studio? Why has he descended from his cathedral roofs to steeplejack the perils of a secular world? What are his secrets? Why do the family’s holy rites seem perverse?
Most of all, why are men getting killed in bizarre, archaic ways here in South Florida?
As Kurt gropes toward the truth, so does the tough and cynical cop, Jack Skelote. What lies before them is a limbo of murdered martyrs, unblessed, unholy, and unburied.
Toni Beauchamp never liked her mother’s world of magic and visions and six strange gods that took over her body at will. So when her mother died, Toni and her sister Candy thought it meant a new beginning, a life free of magic. But Elena had one last gift for her daughter—a sip from the Mockingbird Cordial. And from the moment Tone held the drink to her lips, her life would never be the same…
Crispin is a mosaicist, a layer of bright tiles. Still grieving for the family he lost to the plaque, he lives only for his arcane craft. But an imperial summons from Valerius the Trakesian to Sarantium, the most magnificent place in the world, is difficult to resist.
In a world half-wild and tangled with magic, a journey to Sarantium means a walk into destiny. Bearing with him a deadly secret and a Queen’s seductive promise, guarded only by his own wits and a talisman from an alchemist’s treasury, Crispin sets out for the fabled city. Along the way he will encounter a great beast from the mythic past,and in robbing the zubir of its prize he wins a woman’s devotion and a man’s loyalty—and loses a gift he didn’t know he had until it was gone.
Once in this city ruled by intrigue and violence, he must find his own source of power. Struggling to deal with the dangers and seductive lures of the men and woman around him, Crispin does discover it, in a most unusual place—high on the scaffolding of the greatest artwork ever imagined….
Here is Lily, a photojournalist in search of the “animal people” who supposedly haunt the city’s darkest slums. Here is Hank, who knows those slums all too well. One night, in a brutal incident, their lives collide—uptown Lily and downtown Hank, each with a quest and a role to play in the secret drama of the city’s oldest inhabitants.
For the animal people walk among us. Native Americans call them the First People, but they have never left, and they claim they city for their own.
Not only have Hank and Lily stumbled onto a secret, they’ve stumbled into a war. And in this battle for the city’s soul, nothing is quite as it appears.