- Stan Sudan
Dancers of Light and Darkness
Dancers of Light and Darkness is a contemporary romantic fantasy series about a Sister of Light, Iya-Ko-Naya, and her Promise-bound Brother of Light, Shatwa Hei, who, with the help of their Warrior friends and their Medicine-skilled relations, are challenged, sometimes brutally, sometimes unwillingly, sometimes completely without warning, to reawaken the long-forgotten memories that lie dormant within their Legacy-carrying Souls.
The Warriors, Seekers, Healers, Dancers--even the common folk who populate the countryside--they are all inexplicably tied to the undying fate of Dah'jeh-le-vah, the Mountain of the Ancestors, which simultaneously sits in two worlds--in Real-time and in Shadow. The only chance of survival for any of Iya-Ko-Naya's people, as they walk into those Spirit-touched lands of both worlds, is one of three choices:
The first is to train to fight an endless battle, lifetime after lifetime, against a living Darkness that pursues those Fighters not only into the Ancestrally haunted Canyons and the Wastelands that lie below the Mountain...but into their Dreams. The ancient Medicine lives in that Shadowrealm between Worlds, and that gray-space, between Dreaming and Waking...that is the place where Walkers and Warriors and Medicine Sisters and Brothers remain--half-in, and half-out of both Shadow and Real-time. It takes years, lifetimes even, to master all the techniques necessary to survive in Shadow. But all those who remain committed to the Ways of the Ancestors, and believe that they will continue one life into the next, they do so. Willingly. For thousands upon thousands of years.Sisters of Light, Dancers of Light, and Medicine Riders begin the series as a trilogy about an Ancient past that more than haunts the young, Storytelling Sister, Iya-Ko-Naya. Iya is a gifted Singer, a Healer, a Medicine-Rider, and a Keeper of the Ways of her People.
After committing to a protected, sequestered life as Daughter of the Mountain, Iya joins with her Outsider Medicine Brother, her Medicine-Riding Warrior-Sisters, and her Flatland-Guarding Medicine Brothers to defend both their culture and their land against the growing threat of Darkness. Iya-Ko-Naya, who carries the difficult burden of an imposed forgetfulness that came with the rebirth of her own, Ancient soul, struggles to come to terms with the responsibilities of a completely different, yet equally powerful Path toward Light in her dual roles as both a Healer and a Keeper of the Ways of the ancient traditions of her People, the Kah-ta'i-hai'a.Shatwa Hei, the other main protagonist in the series, is sometimes contemplative, but he is also an incredibly earnest young Medicine Warrior who has retaken his Medicine Name. The source of that Naming remains a mystery until long into the series.
In taking a Name of the mightiest Warrior of legend, Shatwa Hei has reunited himself with a powerful, ancient Destiny that is as merciless in its reawakened Truth as it is filled with Legendary, Warrior-from-beyond-the-Stars intention. Shatwa Hei reluctantly discovers that his namesake, with the potential to re-awaken all of the memories and skills of that ancient Warrior-from-beyond-the-Stars, is none other than Koh-Kah-na'a-Shatwa-Hei, the First-Seeker-of-Truth, also known among those who remember the Legends, as O'hai Na'a-Ka'o. Star-Man.Confronting their own, personal issues and their inner demons from separate, abusive childhoods, Iya and Shatwa Hei re-form their once-deep, slowly Remembered Warrior-bond, which has forever reunited them in an ageless alliance against Darkness. Ultimately, the two must together overcome the stigma of the young Medicine Brother's unwanted heritage--that of an Outsider, who often remains outside of circles and even shunned by the more conservative elements of Kah-ta'i-hai'a society. But his friendship with Iya, with Jonathan and with Stands-By-The-Brook redeems, at least for Shatwa Hei, all of the rejection he experiences within the native culture.
Both Iya and Shatwa Hei, along with the two other Flatland Guardians, Jonathan and Stands-By-The-Brook, are avid and gifted students of the Elder Medicine Man, Illikahn Eagletree. Sisters of Light, the first book of the beginning trilogy of the entire Dancers of Light and Darkness series, unveils the youthful story of Iya-Ko-Naya, whose Legacy-given destiny is to become Daughter of the Mountain. Both she and her beloved Sister-cousin, Tah-Nak-Te'o-Hai, or Te'o-Hai for short, are raised on the verdant slopes of Dah'jeh-le-vah, the Mountain of the Ancestors. The two are unrelentingly compelled, as tiny Sisters of Light, by the Dreams that Dah'jeh-le-vah brings to those who are Destined to become Seekers of the Ways.With single-minded intention, the Dark Ones who oppose these tiny, un-Awakened Sisters of Light, lie in wait, lurking in the up-Mountain Canyons, just as they have since the beginning of time. Beneath this threatening mantle of Darkness, the two young Sisters begin to re-learn how to step into Shadow, and to walk unseen among the shadowy specters of the Ancestors who dwell in the up-Canyon traces.
All the while climbing that brutal, proverbial Path to the top of the Mountain of the Ancestors, Iya-Ko-Naya and her beloved Sister-cousin, Tah-Nak-Te'o-Hai, spend their entire youth fighting Darkness and learning about the Ancient Ways from their Grandmother, Nora-Feather, who also holds the legacy-given title of Daughter of the Mountain. The two little girls' long-awaited Warrior-Destiny follows them, ten years later, all the way into the desert, where they join a nomadic, landless, self-ruled Clan of Free-Range Riders, often refered to as Free-Rangers.Midway through the first book, the two young Sister-cousins have grown into lovely, hard-working Sisters of Medicine. They are still stalked by beings of Darkness, known as the Dark Ones, who continue to slip into real-time from the Shadow-filled domain of Ancient Medicine, called Otherworld, and a veritable host of other names by Iya's people.
The story continues into the second book, where the two Sisters of Light must figure out how to teach their Medicine Brother, Shatwa Hei, how to Walk in that powerful Realm of Otherworld, which is accessed primarily through training, but also through Dreaming. It becomse their reawakene task to show Shatwa Hei how to literally step through the veil between worlds and into Shadow.
But, as is the Way of the Mountain, as Nora-Feather would proclaim, one by one the Warriors each discover that the Dark Beasts were created by Darkness for only one task. To devour all Light.