Jubal Sackett

(Critical Survey of Contemporary Fiction)

Each member of the Sackett family has the Gift, “pre-visions of what is to be,” and Jubal has more than most. So it is that he knows, at the time Jubal leaves on his westward journey, that he will never see his father again. The story opens as Jubal, the youngest son of Barnabas Sackett, embarks on a quest for his dream--to explore the lands across the mountains where no man has gone before, and to do it alone. Before long, however, he meets Keokotah, a wandering Kickapoo who has just escaped from Seneca captivity; they decide to “walk together.”

Soon they come upon a group of Natchez Indians, led by their wise man, Ni’kwana, who asks Jubal in the name of Barnabas Sackett (well-known to the Indians of the region) to find their princess. Itchakomi, the Daughter of the Sun, had led a search party to look for new lands for their tribe, but they were now long overdue. One member of the Natchez party, Kapata, seems to be particularly evil. He wishes to find Itchakomi, also--to make her marry him, subjugate her, and take control of the tribe, says Ni’kwana.

It is this quest for Itchakomi and the struggle between Jubal and Kapata that is the novel’s main thrust. The link to what will obviously be the next book in the series is provided in a scene in the middle of the book when Jubal makes a grisly discovery in a cave and receives a strange psychic message that he remembers at the end of the book.

Jubal’s knowledge of the history and legends of early America, as well as of his father’s native England, while improbable, is entertaining to the reader. More believable but equally enjoyable, is Jubal’s knowledge of various Indian tribes and their customs. These two threads are woven throughout what is otherwise a story of action and suspense.