Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Zan-Gah and the Beautiful Country by Allan Richard Shickman

     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.
--Taken from the Earthshaker Books website

     This novel was just as interesting as its predecessor, but in a different way. It focused more on the relations between the people of the Ba-Coro than on the adventures Zan had. We learned about Sparrow, Morda, Siraka-Finaka, and many more of the characters who played minor roles in the first book.
     The only complaint I have is about the way it ended. It seemed as if Shickman wrapped it up a little too quickly because it just wasn't very believable. None the less, I truly enjoy his writing skills. He puts you in the world of the novel with such ease! Even if you don't fully understand, or like, the characters, you can't help but relate with them just a bit.
     Dael, in particular, played a bigger part in the goings-on of this book. I was just as confused by his behavior as I was in the last book. I understand that he went through absolutely horrendous trials, but I still don't see how that could cause him to be, well, a horrendous person. Everyone goes through difficult times. Granted, his difficult times lasted for about two entire years, but that doesn't give him the right to act so cruelly. In my own personal opinion, he was a slight bit hypocritical. He hated the people who tortured him, and yet he was more than willing to do the same to others.
     I felt bad for Zan. He wanted so badly to have the brother he once knew back again. After all, he had gone through his own perils to rescue Dael. Despite all of his desperate attempts to help his brother regain his old self, it just wasn't meant to be. Once Dael lost his beautiful wife and child, it was all over for him. Even his small amount of happiness was gone. Zan didn't know how to fix that. He couldn't very well bring Lissa back from the dead. Not only were these difficulties on his mind, but so were his problems with the always amazing Pax. All of this Zan handled with compassion.
     Pax was just great. She, along with Siraka-Finaka, took feminism to a new level. Pax had hunting skills better than most men and Siraka-Finaka just had a bearing about her that gave her a sort of authority. I admired both of them for their wisdom and their kindly natures.
     I cannot wait for the next book! This one was so good! Allan Shickman is a talented writer. He brings the words to life and creates stories that you want to read.
     Rating: 6.5-7
*The fact that I received this book from the author did not influence my opinion of it in any way. This was my honest review.

1 comment:

earthshakerbooks said...

Thank you for appreciating my books. I am confident you will like the third one too when it comes out. All I can say on Dael's behalf is that he was only a boy when he was captured, and a very gentle one. Everyone liked him. He had never been treated cruelly by anyone. Then he was captured, confined, humiliated, and tortured for two years. It affected his mind. I don't think many of us would have fared better.

Keep on reading and writing!

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Allan R. Shickman