Simiakia by Lori Windows Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

A young man on a path of crime and vices finds himself working the ranch that he was arrested for trying to steal from, and in the process not only finds himself but his connection to his own heritage in author Lori Windows’s “Simiakia”.


The Synopsis

It was not whimsy that had brought him together with this red horse to run this race. It was the justice of time.

Raised without hope or pride in his heritage to what promises to be a short life of crime, alcohol, and drugs, Nez Perce teenager Al George gets an unexpected second chance. A heist gone wrong ends up with him working on probation at the very Idaho ranch he and his “friends” tried to rob, owned by Celia Bolt, who left her own rich-but-dysfunctional family to move West many years ago, and the taciturn Morgan Kyles, who has his own checkered past.

Over the course of the summer of 1986, Celia and Morgan work out the thorny details of their relationship, while Al regains his pride and his sense of self as he works with the ranch’s signature Appaloosas, finds love—and finally, through a deep bond with one very special horse, reconnects with his Nez Perce heritage and discovers the truth of his strange, recurring dreams of an Indian brave on a very special horse, striving to protect his people from the soldiers pursuing them.

For everyone involved, one summer changes everything.

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The Review

This was an incredible and moving read. The author does a great job of capturing the serenity and moving power of nature and the wildness of the Western genre. The detail the author put into the world of ranching and horse management and what goes into making that kind of property run smoothly was incredible, as was the detail that went into horse care and the relationships we form with these majestic creatures. The imagery in the author’s writing made the settings feel vibrant in both the past and the present and kept the reader engaged in the evolving narrative.

To me, the heart of this story rested in the rich character dynamics and backstories that the author brought to life. In particular, I loved both Al and Celia’s journey and the way the ranch seemed to give them each a new lease on life. The story felt very much like a commentary on finding our true selves through meaningful changes to our lives, and these two characters illustrated this perfectly. Blend this with a powerful look into Native American history and culture, and this book really felt impactful and thoughtful in its approach. 

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The Verdict

Memorable, thought-provoking, and entertaining, author Lori Windows’s “Simiakia” is a must-read Western novel. The heart and emotional core of these characters’ journey and the connections they make while working this ranch, as well as the heart-pounding final chapters, made this a gripping story. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10


About the Author

Lori Windows grew up enamoured of the writings of Grey, Brand, Terhune, London, Burroughs, and Farley. Her father set her on a horse when she was two years old, and she has now ridden horses on six continents. In 1982, she discovered the sport of distance racing. She and her variety of horses and mules have amassed multiple national titles and more than 63,000 sanctioned race miles.

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