Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Zan-Gah by Allan Richard Shickman

By Allan Richard Shickman

“She began to move warily in a circle as the men tightened the trap, and as they got closer the lioness began to stride and prowl in a circle so small that she almost seemed to be chasing her tail. But she was watching, watching while she turned and snarled, for a weakness in the ever-tightening ring of her pursuers. Then, at the moment the attack finally was sounded--when the men, putting down their drums and torches, charged on the run with their spears--the lioness saw what she was looking for. One of her enemies was smaller, weaker than the rest. There was a point in the strengthening line that could be broken! Thought merged with furious action and the beast, with a mighty bound of astonishing swiftness, darted toward Zan. Five hundred pounds of snarling fury sprang directly at him with claws bared and fanged mouth open!”

Zan-Gah: A Prehistoric Adventure has hardly started. A bad conscience and concern for Dael, his missing brother, cause Zan to begin a search which will lead him to captivity, conflict, love, and victory. In a time of war, the hero goes from an uncertain boyhood to a tried and proven manhood, and a role of leadership among his people. 

Zan-Gah And The Beautiful Country
By Allan Richard Shickman

"Well past the middle of the night Zan felt a shaking of his shoulder as he slept, and then an impatient foot kicking at him.  Instinctively grabbing for his spear, he looked up and saw the orange glow of a torch, and as his eyes adjusted to the invading light he recognized his brother's ghastly face.  Dael's dangerous brow was furrowed, and the vein of his forehead bulged under the old scar.  His teeth were clenched, and his eyes darted nervously back and forth.  His every motion expressed a profound agitation, and Zan knew that what he had been dreading had come.

'It is time, Zan.  Let us go!'

'Where?  It's dark!'

'I want to find where the river comes from.'"

The volcanic turbulence that shakes Dael's mind carries him to vicious extremes.  It is Zan's task to calm his brother and lead him away from thoughts both destructive and self-destructive.  But even the paradise of the Beautiful Country will not erase them.

My Review: Authentic in voice, powerful in story art, the journey of body and mind told between the pages of these two books is addicting. Mr. Shickman will drag you into this story with the depth and characterization of the young teenager, Zan. You'll trek a primitive, dangerous world through his eyes, undergo torturous events and shudder with fear, pain, and courage. You'll stumble, fail, recover, and claim victory, but not without cost. What a great gift for young adult readers and adults, as well. I give these books FOUR STARS.

1 comment:

  1. I've never heard of a Prehistoric Adventure category but I like it. I've read a few books that could fit into it, but never had it named before.
    This sounds like a decent read. I do enjoy the YA books as much as any contemporary adult fiction piece, sometimes more as their not quite so risque'.
    nice review

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