Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Zan-Gah and the Beautiful Country, by Allan Richard Shickman

Zan-Gah and the Beautiful CountryZan and Dael's story continues, as Dael reels after the death of his wife.  He decides the tribe should move to take over the Wasp people's land, called the Beautiful Country.  When the tribe arrives, the Wasp people have died out, but other troubles are to be found.  The biggest trouble is Dael himself, and the frightening thing he has become.

Once again, I found myself quite enjoying the prehistoric story of Zan-Gah and his tribe.  This time, the story was a little more fierce, and more intended for young adult readers on the older end of the spectrum.  However, the book is far from graphic; I think it would particularly appeal to male readers.  My only concern with that is there does seem to be a lot of disdain for women in the book, particularly by the character of Dael.

I like how the story really came to life as I read it.  And the themes are so universal, love, jealousy, war, that at times, the reader forgets the prehistoric setting.  I think this is a good thing, that it helps make the story more appealing.  Even though it is a far different time and place than our own, we are able to really connect with Zan as a character, because his struggles are much like our own.

Overall, a good book for young adults and adults alike.  I would love to hear more about Zan in the future.

A review copy of this book was provided courtesy of the publisher.