| Noki is a young Native American who has worked hard to learn the stone
knapper’s art. His idyllic life is shattered with the arrival of the
Spanish priests and their followers, who bring with them devastating
sicknesses and strange gods. Noki wonders how he can resist the efforts
of the white men to destroy his way of life, even as his little brother,
Eti, is drawn to the Spanish gods and their charismatic priest. Noki’s
life is complicated even more when the tribe's vengeful shaman discovers
Eti's secret visits to the white men’s new village….
Antonio Peyri, a young Franciscan priest newly arrived in Spanish California, is put in charge of building the Mission San Luis Rey. Even as new buildings rise on the grass and scrub-covered hills, Father Peyri struggles to win the hearts and souls of the people already living there. How he is able to do this when the Native Americans fear and distrust him is at the core of this fact-based young-adult novel of early California.