Author Sally Wiener Grotta takes the adage, “It takes a village to raise a child,” and raises it to the next level. In her post-apocalyptic novel, “The Winter Boy,” a surly teenager will become a refined man whose mission will be to help keep the Peace after the Great Chaos.
But how does one keep the peace when your enemies want nothing more than to kill you? That’s the heart of the question asked by the Alleshi, a group of women who take Blessed Boys and turn them into their knights and charge them with the task of spreading Peace to all. Standing in their way, however, are the Mwertik, who seem to delight in slaughtering anyone in their path.
Ryl is the Winter Boy, an angst-filled young man who has been paired with Rishana to be trained as an Alleman. Rishana is new to the Alleshi, having just completed her training as an Allesha, a mentor who will make a man out of the raw teenager whose father has been gone too much. And yes, sex is used as a tool to civilize the inner caveman of the Blessed Boy.
What neither Ryl nor Rishana know is that they are part of a bigger plan to bring peace to the Valley where the Mwertik have been raiding. The Mwertik slaughtered Rishana’s husband years ago. Can she put aside her hatred to better prepare Ryl? What will it take to reach the Mwertik and teach them of peace?
This novel is a perfect complement to any discussion of peace amidst violence in clashes of different cultures. Many parallels can be derived from the story line: the British coming to America and “civilizing” the Native American; the creation of knights in feudel times to honor a common mission; a single savior sent to a troubled world.
Author Grotta doesn’t give us any simple answers, but instead gives readers a place to start in the discussion of what it will take for world peace.
“The Winter Boy” is available from Pixel Hall Press.
The eBook edition of “The Winter Boy” is now on preorder sale, at a discount price, on Amazon, Apple iBookstore, Barnes & Noble, Kobo and other bookstores. Date of publication is Nov. 6.