Jan 06, 11
Read in December, 2010
This story picks up about three years after the original leaves off. Zan-Gah is married to a strong, spear-carrying woman (unheard of in prehistoric times—women were the gatherers and men were the hunters), and Dael has just lost his wife, the one person who could help him move past the psychological trauma he suffered while in captivity. Dael is not doing well but, again, Zan-Gah is determined to help him.
I didn’t like Dael in the first book (although I felt bad for him because he was held captive by the aggressive and war-like Noi for so long), and I didn’t like him in this book either. Of course, he’s suffered serious psychological trauma, which changed him from the happy child he was into a bitter, hostile young man but I could help it. Actually, I was surprised that Zan-Gah was as patient with Dael as he was and shocked that people actually followed Dael and supported his actions.
While these characters were teenagers, they weren’t teenagers as we know them today. Because the lives of prehistoric people were so short and hard, everyone had to grow up quickly. Zan-Gah, for example, was a husband, a provider, a hunter, and a leader. He’s an adult in every sense of the word. While the first novel was a coming-of-age story, this one is a journey through adulthood.
ZAN-GAH AND THE BEAUTIFUL COUNTRY is another well-written story that joins its brother on my classroom library’s shelves.