Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Zan-Gah by Allan Richard Shickman

Title/Author: Zan-Gah: A Prehistoric Adventure (Zan-Gah #1) by Allan Richard Shickman
Publisher/Date published: Earthshaker Books, 2007
How I got this book: I received a review copy from the publisher
Why I read this book: I thought it sounded interesting

Summary: Set in prehistoric time, Zan is a boy in his early teens, who by a stroke of luck manages to kill a lioness that killed a child, in a hunt with the rest of the clansmen. He is then named Zan-Gah, which means Zan of the Rock, in honour of this.
Zan-Gah is troubled, his twin brother Dael has been missing for a year and though everyone has given up him, Zan believes he must still be alive and sets out to search for him. But times are hard and the different clans aren't united. Zan must battle more than the wilderness in his search for his brother.

I enjoyed this book, had it been out back then, I can see my eight or nine-year0old self picking it up and really liking it (I know the book's meant for ages 11 and up, but by then I'd already moved on to adult fiction, my library didn't do so well in YA fiction area).

I liked how Zan seemed to have gotten an appropriate and very adequate upbringing: he knows how to survive on his own. Which is something every child in that time should be taught to do. On his quest for his brother he shows that he not only knows how to use the weapons he brought with him, but also has the intelligence and creativeness to invent one of his own: he fashions the first sling, which becomes very important to his people later on in the story. Zan not only cares for himself, he also tries to do good by other people, he gives food to a starving child and is determined not to betray a small boy he encounters on his journey, even though he has every reason to.

Zan has a sense of justice that I appreciate and he has the wits to communicate this and the plans he has to other people. He is respected by his clansmen and probably rightfully so. He also recognizes that there are things, like his brother's mental scars, that even he cannot fight.

All in all, this was an enjoyable read, and I'm curious to see what adventures Zan goes on in the next book of the series.

My rating: 3 stars

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