When The Legends Die

This is the story of the life an Ute family, and in particular the way of their people. The story

starts off with the father of the family, George Black Bull running for his life from the sheriff and Blue Elk,

one of the old Ute men. He had shot a man named Frank No Deer, he had killed him for stealing his money

three times that he owed to a sawmill in Pagosa where he had worked with many other of his people, that

he had saved for a long period of time. So George, his wife Bessie and son decided to live in the

mountains, where they would live the old way, singing songs for different occasions, fishing and hunting

with arrow instead of guns, and making use of the wilderness and all of it's resources. They built a cabin to

live in, in a location where George would not be found and put in jail for his crime, they caught their

meals, sewed their clothes and lived life and taught their son the way it had been lived by many generations

of their people in the past, until one da!

y George was crushed by an avalanche while hunting in a valley. Bessie new now that their son had

become the man of the family, and would be responsible for many of the tasks that needed to be done in

order to survive, it was also time for him to pick a name, he chose the name Bear's Brother. Every once

and a while they went to the village to trade for items that they could not make, but after a short period of

time Bessie became very ill and died. Bear's Brother had learned the ways and was now capable of taking

care of himself, he continued to live life the old way. One day he journeyed to town to trade items, he told

what had happened to his parents and that he was living alone with a bear, but Blue Elk thought that he

should not be living this way and that he should be in school and living the way of the present. Blue Elk

followed Bear's Brother to his cabin and they talked for many hours, Bear's Brother re-taught Blue Elk the

old ways and talked with Bear's Brother f!

or many hours, and finally convinced him to come to town with him and remind his people of these old


I personally like the setting of the wilderness in this book. I enjoy reading and learning the

ways that native people lived their lives in the wilderness even if it is fiction and not fact. The setting is

very detailed, believable and has enough but not too much description. "She cried out once in horror, and

the boy heard and came and stood beside her, watching, as the snow plume floated all the way down the

slope and the thunder of the slide echoed into the silence," is a phrase that I found particularly enjoyable

and descriptive.

I like the way that the author has not introduced too many characters at once and has limited the

number of characters that are of relevance during certain periods of the book. I find it is very annoying

when a book has many important characters all at one point or section of the book, instead Hal Borland

introduces characters at various stages of the book, and now that Bear's Brother's parents have died I'm sure

a few more characters will be introduced. I like Blue Elks character because he's mysterious and seems to

show up every once and a while in the book, he seems to be everyone's friend. For example, when Bear's

Brother's bear is attacking dogs in the village, he shows up for no apparent reason.

There's not too much suspense in this book, but I think it's mainly because there's no need for

suspense in this style of book. A not so obvious example of foreshadowing would be right after George

fights Frank No Deer for stealing his money. After he has fought he checks his

pocket to see if his money is still there, and of course it's gone. The author wouldn't have written