When Skylar's father suddenly disappears, Skylar is taken to live with his grandmother on the Indian reservation. At first left alone and treated warily by everyone for being the only White, Skylar very slowly begins to open up and find his first friend in Annie. But it is Rafael, with his scowls and guarded demeanor as well as his drawings for the victims of his father's madness, who Skylar finds himself curious to know more about.
Rafael and Skylar's blossoming friendship is achingly sweet to see, as Skylar coaxes Rafael free from the stigma of his father's legacy. For Skylar, he has found in Rafael someone who can hear and anticipate his thoughts and feelings despite the fact that he cannot voice them. Friendship turns into a deep bond and love, as both boys become the other's savior and light.
This book was a pleasure to read from start to finish. Skylar is one of the most endearing narrators, and Rafael's tentative attempts at affection and obvious protectiveness and cherishing of Skylar underneath his gruff exterior kept a smile on my face.
This is a very slow-paced and long read, which would usually frustrate me and others who are looking for excitement and action, but I was drawn into Skylar's awakening and new world on the reservation so I enjoyed every moment.
I fell in love with the writing, the characters, and the exploration of such a rich and colorful culture. Definitely can't wait to get my hands on the rest of this trilogy!