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.
It's about survival, discovery, a long search, and a good fight.
--from the Earthshaker Books website
I was enthralled by this book. At first, I thought it would be a bit childish, just because of the cover, but it really isn't. The language gives you a feel of being in ancient times, as does the plot itself, obviously. Shickman must have put a lot of thought into how to make this adventure come to life!
Zan is just an ordinary kid in a prehistoric world. He lost his twin brother, Dael, and though life has gone on, he misses his best friend. I admire Zan's determination to find his brother and his willingness to leave behind all that he knows to rescue Dael. He shows amazing strength in bringing the clans together and enduring all that he is put through.
I was so disappointed when we finally met Dael. He was far from the person built up in my imagination. Zan's view of him, and everyone else's actually, made him out to be a great person. Yet he is far from the person they once loved. Zan describes a meek, caring kid, but Dael is a withdrawn, disturbed young man now. Whatever he went through must have been beyond torture.
Aniah seems so amazing and wise! He reminds me of a kindly grandpa, which, I suppose, he is. Despite his great status among the clans, Aniah is far from perfect and he doesn't try to hide the fact. He accepts who he is, which just adds to his aura of intelligence. I'd have to say he is one of the best minor characters I have met in a while.
I really enjoyed this book. It had an amazing plot line and an awesome world. The Beautiful Country sounded so neat! I kind of wish I could see it for myself, maybe go swimming in the pristine lake. The different peoples that Shickman created in his story were fascinating as well. He really made interesting, deep characters that had entire backgrounds of their own. They could have stood alone, without the great plot, and still been great characters.
Somehow, Shickman was able to turn the prehistoric era into a fascinating story of peril, growing up, the bond between family, and all that this encompasses. Zan-Gah was well-written and worth reading!
*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.