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Poetry Highlights

Updated: Feb 15

Set in the Caribbean in the pre-Columbian era, Shape of a Warrior is a captivating tale about the indomitable spirit of a young adventurer and her unlikely friend in the battle-centred world of the indigenous Kalina people.

On the island of Hiroon, a Kalina girl rescues and helps hide a strange-looking boy who she thinks is a captive escaped from a nearby village. But he’s not. He’s a boat wreck survivor from a distant land that apparently is unknown to anyone else.

For Yurubi, who dreams of boat building and canoeing, Aloo grows to become a friend like no other, although he’s terrified of the sea. Together, they secretly explore the forest near his cave hideout, learn to make weapons and tools, play wrestling games, hunt, and build small river boats.

But their world of adventure crumbles when Aloo is forced out of hiding and as Yurubi’s unwomanly skills become apparent. Their close bonds rip apart as they are battered by the vagaries of nature and deluged with suspicion, belligerence and ridicule in a village that holds fast to age-old traditions.

Under the cryptic eye of the village shaman, Yurubi and Aloo struggle against their anguish, fears and misgivings to fight for a place on an island that’s home to some of the most fearsome warriors on Earth.

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