Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Zan-Gah and the Beautiful Country by Allan Richard Shickman

Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher: Earthshaker Books, 2009

New Land, New Life

In this sequel to Zan-Gah, A Prehistoric Adventure Zangah and his brother, Dael, are both married. But Dael, who suffered so much in captivity, in the opening lines is dealt another blow ....
"When Lissa-Na died, Dael wept real tears."

 Angry and disturbed he becomes obsessed with destroying the Wasp Men who live in the Beautiful Country but when he, Zan-Gah and others of their people travel  there they find the Wasp Men have all died. The decision is made to migrate to the Beautiful Country and make it their new home. Unfortunately there are others who have the same plan - the Noi, Dael's cruelest enemies .......

The book itself moves into new territory. A Prehistoric Adventure is a growing-up story but those boys are now men and dealing with adult issues both practical and emotional. War, sickness and death, relationships........the battle for survival, these themes are such that I'd not recommend this one for preteens.

As an adult I really enjoyed it and became more involved on an emotional level . One can't help feeling some pity for the seriously disturbed Dael and to feel Zan-Gah's distress as he tries to help him.

"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."
One of my favourite characters is Zan-Gah's wife, Pax and I'm sure girls will love the introduction of a strong female........she carries a spear and is as fine a hunter as her husband and the complications in their relationship make for some fine drama.

But overall for me it is the authors gift for descriptive prose , particularly of the natural environment, that kept me captivated. He creates magic with words that is a pleasure to read and then return and read again.

I recommend!

Thanks again to Earthshaker Books for sending me a copy of Zan-Gah and the Beautiful Country.


  1. Thank you for your sensitive reviews. I believe that youngsters want to be entertained, but I want them to think and feel more deeply too. I would recommend the first book, Zan-Gah: A Prehistoric Adventure to ages 11 and up in most cases (some kids are better readers than others). If an adult is reading aloud, the age can go down to 9 or even 8. The sequel, Zan-Gah and the Beautiful Country, is a year or two "older." Just my opinion, of course. A third book is on the way. Pray for me.

    Allan R. Shickman

  2. Thanks for dropping by and I'll certainly look forward to the next book.