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Last Updated on September 5, 2023, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 166

While recovering in the hospital, Sonny Braca begins to dream of his female ancestors even as women go missing from his New Mexico community. One by one, these bygone figures, both white and Native American, and their historic associates enter his mine. Sonny realizes that his shamanic rival, Raven, who can assume spirit form, is planting the dreams in his head. Sonny continues to search for the living, presumably kidnapped women, such as the mayor’s daughter, but soon his interior states are vying with actual fieldwork in helping him solve the mysteries.

Wary of susceptibility to the fiendish Raven’s magical manipulations, he enlists help from Don Eliseo to understand his ancestry and thus prevent Raven from killing them and changing history so much that he will not even be born. Thus Sonny traces his own line back to shamans, with the colonial-era Owl Woman, as well as settlers; this empowering information gives him reserves of strength to continue battling Raven on both metaphysical planes.

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