"The Arctic seldom gives a man a second chance!"
Drum Dance is teen / adult historical fiction filled with adventure, suspense, and danger in Canada's Central Arctic, where Sir John Franklin and his crew froze to death searching for the Northwest Passage.
In the late 1930s, 17-year-old David Jansson agrees to spend two years at an isolated fur-trading post with his estranged father, Per, manager for the Hudson's Bay Company. David hasn't seen his dad for five years, and the hot-tempered man he finds is not the gentle father he remembers—he has become a domineering, abusive alcoholic.
David soon rethinks his decision to stay the full two years. But hoping to find the loving parent inside the drunken man, he tries to stick it out and follow Per's strict orders: absolutely no contact with the beautiful half-blood girl, Nipesha, nor the intimidating shaman, Naigo, who ignores Inuit tradition and chooses the white youth for his apprentice—a creepy old man who appears in David's room in the middle of the night, then vanishes before his eyes. David's life becomes hell as he deals with Per's alcoholism, Nipesha's seduction, his own ESP, and the unforgiving climate of a desolate island.
To escape an intolerable situation in a land where escape is nearly impossible, David risks his life by underestimating the weather—and his own heart—when he ignores a basic truth: The Arctic seldom gives a man a second chance.
"Birch bark canoes were made for rivers and lakes," Per said, "not the frigid waters of the Arctic. Fall out of this, you'll freeze before you drown!"