The Orenda has riveting characters and a fascinating portrayal of village life. I loved the Iroquois girl, Snow Falls, and the Huron chief, Bird. I was less enchanted with the Jesuit, Christophe, though one couldn’t doubt his sincerity and depth of belief. The story, it has to be said, is also bloodsoaked and brutal, and is hard reading at times. I’m not sure why Boyden felt it necessary to go into such detail. Was it that torture was integral to the Indian way of life? I preferred reading about the three sisters (corn, beans and squash, the staple diet), and the village long houses.
At one point, Christophe says that the Indians in their leggings, with furs draped over one shoulder, remind him of the ancient Greeks with their togas. That image may remain with me.
My rating: 5 stars