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  Spirit of the Raven    

  280 page hard cover
ISBN: 0-9665430-0-9

264 page trade paper
ISBN: 0-9665430-6-8

Finalist 2000 WWA Awards for Best First Novel and Best Novel of the West
1999 Horizon Award

Set in Territorial Alaska in 1925, the story presents the reader with characters as mysterious and compelling as Alaska itself, all with tales about what drove them to the isolated Alaskan bush. There is the pregnant young girl, who refuses to name the father of her unborn child. There is the corrupt priest, pursued by his own demons. There is the pompous man of the law, who wields his power inappropriately. And there is the sweet but simpering town drunk, who manages to be a source of comfort to many. Although some of the characters are victimized and defeated, they are never destroyed. It is through the Spirit of Raven, the mythological trickster believed by many to have created the world, that some characters in the story are spared the wrath of Keetuk, the mysterious Native Alaskan musher who is the driving force behind this prizewinning, bestselling novel.

 Words of Praise:
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“…characters vividly evoked, the north country beautifully described. An intricate sense of place supports a moving story…"
—Larry McMurtry, Pulitzer Prize-winner for Lonesome Dove

“…memorable cast of characters…engaging, entertaining reading."
—Midwest Book Review

“…transcends its genre…impressed with how Cherry handled Native spirituality…"
—Heartland Magazine, Fairbanks Daily News-Miner

"When I began to read Spirit of the Raven, I was slowly drawn into the story by the powerful insightfulness of the author's choice of words, then as I read on I found myself slowly becoming mesmerized by the story itself. Many times I had to pause because, being a Native American, it seemed that some of the imagery reflected back to my way of life and how I felt concerning some of how the Native characters felt and thought, or reacted to the Western way of thinking or believing. All-in-all the book was very emotional, entertaining and suspenseful."
—Velma Wallis, author of Two Old Women, Bird Girl and The Man Who Followed the Sun

"Bob Cherry writes with the authority of one who's lived the adventure, and he has. Twenty-eight years in the Alaskan bush come alive in Spirit of the Raven, from the first double-bitted scene, to the last finely-honed moment. Cherry's characters live on the edge, in a raw and primal world of survival. This book will test you…it will make you flinch, but, like the men and women of the Alaskan bush, you'll find yourself in an engrossing world you won't want to leave. Spirit of the Raven may well be an award-winning first novel."
—Page Lambert, author of Shifting Stars and In Search of Kinship. Contributor to Writing Down the: Into the Heart of the Grand Canyon; Leaning Into the Wind: Women Write from the Heart of the West; Tumblewords and Chicken Soup for the Soul

"Bob Cherry captures the brash, raucous spirit of Alaska's Territorial Days. Traplines, fishermen and half-remembered sea chanteys. The last place to which you can escape. Where a good partner is as rare as gold dust or a fine Irish whiskey. A tale of missionaries, mysticism and murder in the land of the Yup'ik Eskimo. Where the spirit of Inua haunt fog-shrouded ice floes; the swift shadow of Raven aloft in a winter white sky." —Brenda Akelkok, Director of Planning and Development for a regional non-profit Native organization in southwestern Alaska; member of the Curyung Native Village Council; recipient of the Winnie Neeley Davis Memorial Award for literary excellence.

"Gripping scenes. . .a real Northern page-turner."
—Ann Chandonnet, author of Chief Stephan's Parky