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The Firekeeper
A Narrative of the New York Frontier
The Firekeeper
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Robert Moss - Author
Excelsior Editions
Price: $23.95 
Paperback - 513 pages
Release Date: July 2009
ISBN13: 978-1-4384-2934-2


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An epic adventure based on the extraordinary historical story of Sir William Johnson and the author’s dreams of a Mohawk “woman of power” who lived three centuries ago.

“Robert Moss is a writer of considerable skill. In The Firekeeper, he shows a talent for accurate historical detail and an ability to recreate the past, both as it was and as it might have been. To read The Firekeeper is to be transported to another time and place, and leave it measurably enlightened.” — James A. Michener

The Firekeeper brings alive the world in which America was born, when the clash of empires produced the first worldwide war and Albany, New York, was the Casablanca of the age. Filled with great men—George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, the Mohawk Hendrick Tehayanoken—and the battles that opened the way for the American Revolution, The Firekeeper follows the exploits of Sir William Johnson, an Irish adventurer with a rage for life, who created a tribal kingdom on the New York frontier.

Johnson defended the First Peoples against white men who were bent on genocide and led the Mohawks into battle on the English side in the French and Indian War. His story is interwoven with those of three extraordinary women: Catherine Weissenberg, the Palatine German girl who fled the wars of the Old World to make a life with Johnson in the Mohawk Valley; Island Woman, a Mohawk shaman and mother of the Wolf Clan; and her granddaughter, known to history as Molly Brant, the only woman who managed to tame Johnson. With Island Woman, we journey deep into the dream practices and ways of healing of the Onkwehonwe, the Real People, and through her The Firekeeper also becomes the indelible story of a native people’s struggle for survival, and of how dreaming can bring the soul back home.

“Some rare novels defy labels. The Firekeeper is such a book. An intricately detailed historical novel, a mystical journey, a breathtaking adventure tale, and a passionate exploration of the human heart. This is a book to savor when you truly want to lose yourself in another world. You may never come all the way back.” — Morgan Llywelyn, author of Lion of Ireland

The Firekeeper by Robert Moss depicts with accurate and exciting detail the time of the French and Indian War. Through the fictionalized lives of historical individuals, Sir William Johnson and Catherine Weissenberg, and memorable, almost mythical characters such as the Iroquois shaman Island Woman and Ade, a former slave, the narrative springs to life. The characters, even the minor ones, are clearly drawn in this fast-paced tale, and the pages keep turning as we learn about the lives of the original inhabitants of this land, and of the early European settlers. This fascinating historical novel offers just the right mix: an involving story which imparts a deeper understanding.” — Jean M. Auel, author of The Clan of the Cave Bear

“Moss backs his vigorous adventure story with detailed research, summarized in extensive source notes.” — Publishers Weekly

“I admire Robert Moss’ skill in weaving an elaborate web around his larger-than-life characters. In his latest novel, The Firekeeper, readers are swept back into the eighteenth century to the veritable fusion of our country’s diversity. An epic adventure of William Johnson and the Mohawks. I found the story so good it was hard to do much until I had read all of it.” — Anna Lee Waldo, author of Sacajawea

“It’s a remarkable book . . . I love his take on the history, and the Mohawk stuff is really extraordinary. Island Woman and Swimming Voices in particular are inspired characterizations. . . . The sense of place is very intense as well.” — Cecelia Holland, author of Pacific Street

“Based on exhaustive research into history and into the practice of dreaming, this is a splendid and captivating book by a master storyteller, a book that is richly textured and inspiring.” — Stanley Krippner, PhD, professor of psychology, Saybrook Graduate School, coauthor of Personal Mythology

Robert Moss is a novelist, journalist, historian, and lifelong dream explorer. For many years he has taught and practiced Active Dreaming, an original synthesis of dreamwork and shamanic techniques. His many books include Conscious Dreaming: A Spiritual Path for Everyday Life; Dreamgates: An Explorer’s Guide to the Worlds of Soul, Imagination, and Life Beyond Death; Dreamways of the Iroquois: Honoring the Secret Wishes of the Soul; The Three “Only” Things: Tapping the Power of Dreams, Coincidence and Imagination; and The Secret History of Dreaming. His novels include the three-volume cycle of the Iroquois, Fire Along the Sky; The Firekeeper; and The Interpreter. Moss lives in upstate New York.

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Table of Contents


1. Women of Power
2. Tara's Shadow
3. Wolf Captive
4. Strength of a Unicorn
5. Burden Straps
6. A Lake of Beer for God
7. Time of Power
8. Welcomed by Larks
9. Soul Drivers
10. Newcomers


11. The Octagon
12. Winter Games
13. The Net
14. Forest Killer
15. Gifts of Iron
16. Bugling Elk
17. Wolf Dreaming
18. Devils of New York
19. A Severed Head
20. Warpath
21. To Cause a Bear
22. The Olive of Lydius
23. The God-Given
24. Moon of Crusted Snow
25. Rage


26. She Who Dreams
27. White Death
28. Man of Two Worlds
29. Fire That Never Dies
30. Fields of War
31. The Wolf's Throat
32. Husking Time
33. Hummingbirds
34. The Real World
35. Mother of the Falls

Names of the Iroquois
English-Mohawk Guide to Names
Mohawk-English Glossary
Source Notes
About the Author

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