Burning Sky by Lori Benton

Burning SkyNarrated by Saskia Maarleveld

Burning Sky is an American western, taking place just after the Revolutionary war. Ms. Benton’s gift for storytelling and the skilled narration of Saskia Maarleveld make it quite an enjoyable audio experience.

Twelve years before the book opens, fourteen-year-old Willa Obenchain is abducted from her family home and held captive by Mohawk Indians. She is renamed Burning Sky, married to a young Mohawk man. When sickness strikes the Mohawk settlement, Burning Sky sets out to find her family.

The story opens just as Burning Sky is approaching her family’s homestead. Things are greatly changed, and Willa finds herself alone save for the wounded man she finds near her old home. Fearing for his welfare, she decides to nurse him back to health, despite her own uncertain safety.

Soon, Willa comes to understand just how different life among the whites will be. White settlers judge her harshly for living among those they term savages. They also judge her deceased parents, accusing them of sympathizing with the British. Willa is determined to clear their names.

Many people are displeased to see Willa back in their midst. Richard Waring, for example, had plans for her family’s farm. Willa’s return puts those plans in jeopardy, and he is quite set on making her his wife in order to call the land his own. Although she once had feelings for Richard, she no longer views him in the same light. Plus, she thinks her life will be much happier living on her own.

Then, Willa’s Mohawk brother appears on the scene, urging her to return to their people, but Willa is no longer sure she belongs there. She has shed the identity of Burning Sky, and she’s unsure she wants to reclaim it. Plus, Neil MacGreggor, the wounded botanist has promised to help her revitalize her farm. With so many questions and so few answers, Willa’s life is more complicated than ever before. Will she make sense of things and claim her much deserved HEA?

Narrator Saskia Maarleveld does a fabulous job with Burning Sky. Her performance is filled with just the right amount of emotion. The characters are well-defined and distinctly voiced.

I was particularly fond of her portrayal of Neil. She gives him a wonderfully authentic-sounding Scottish burr. I’ve heard many narrators attempt such an accent, but few pull it off well. Ms. Maarleveld impressed me greatly.

If you enjoy stories of the early American west, Burning Sky might be just the thing for you. Many of the characters are quite religious, and there were times the story was a little preachy for my taste, but, overall, I found it to be a wonderful way to pass several hours.


Narration: A

Book Content: B+

Steam Factor: Glad I had my earbuds in, but at the tame end

Violence Rating: Escalated Fighting

Genre: Historical/Western Romance

Publisher: Recorded Books

Burning Sky was provided to AudioGals by Recorded Books for a review.

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