Sixteen-year-old Cassandra, her twin brother Paul and their father have always lived by the Old Way, even before the government forces them to move from the concrete Corridor to the sanctuary of an island populated by a band of their people, the Métis tribe of Western Canada. Unlike other newcomers, Cass and her family know how to live without the Corridor’s technology. And although she’s ordinarily indifferent to boys, Cass finds herself attracted to Bran, son and potential heir of the band’s missing chief.
Madda, the local medicine woman, takes Cassandra on as an apprentice, helping her develop talents she’s always possessed but never studied. Cassandra can heal wounds, see the invisible animal shades that accompany her people (similar to the dæmons of Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy) and travel into the spirit world. But she cannot see her own shade, cannot help Paul find peace from the ghosts that haunt him and cannot convince various jealous factions to welcome her into their community.
In Shadows Cast by Stars, debut author Catherine Knutsson, herself a member of the Métis tribe, blends a contemporary feminist sensibility with Arthurian legends, Greek mythology and Native traditions to create a rich and captivating story.