My heart wanted to give this story 5*. It deserves 5 stars, for it is a story told in the ways of the old ones: the Native American shamans, the Zulu sangomas and the Bedouin fugaras.
Hibbs is a bear with an important mission. Like all great heroes, he has made his mistakes and has suffered for them. But how can one not love Hibbs, with his youthful humour, his bold spirit and his gentle determination? Hibbs does the right thing, no matter what it costs him personally. Together with Little Brother and Surt, Hibbs takes the reader on a mystical journey through loyal friendships and gritty battles, as he strives to be true to his soul.
The natural cadence of the story swept me away into an enchanted, and enchanting, world with profound truths at its centre. Redolent with ancient philosophies, somehow comforting in this out-of-joint modern world, the haunting beauty of the narrative and the complex characterisations revealed a wisdom that is so often missing in many of the stories we read today.
I only rated THE BEAR WITH TWO SHADOWS a four-star book because of two small concerns. The first was that the copy I downloaded from Kindle had a few formatting and spelling errors, enough to distract me in the first few chapters, but these did become less as the book progressed and so weren't a major issue. Secondly, this is not a book for light reading, so I couldn't read it when I was tired. I needed to concentrate on the layers within layers within layers. So it did take me a while to finish it.
But finish it I did, for it is a marvellous tale of good versus evil, of kindness versus cruelty and of a lonely soul finding that we are not, after all, alone. I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to be inspired and uplifted. Let Hibbs hold you in his massive paws and you'll feel the magic in his soul.
I can't wait to join Hibbs on his next adventure!