Five tribes. One leader. A treacherous journey across three continents in search of a new home.
That’s a great tagline. And I enjoyed the book, too.
It starts like this:
Xhosa is a female, a would-be budding leader of her people. Seeing her ambition, her father, the tribe’s leader, encouraged her to track and hunt the prey beasts, as well as to defend herself from the bands of other prehistoric humans and other predators. When her father is slain by a rival tribe, the elders of her own band are surprised when she declares her readiness to compete in the trials for leadership.
The contest is bittersweet to Xhosa, for the other challenger is Nightshade, a warrior she sees as a possible pairmate. It’s a brutal challenge, testing any human’s strength, cunning, and agility. In the end, she and Nightshade save each other, but Nightshade cedes the leadership to Xhosa.
However, she becomes leader at a troubled time. A different form of prehistoric man is moving in, one that vocalizes more than they should and seems to have no desire to share the land. They want nothing more than to drive Xhosa and her people away, or failing that, to kill them.
A book such as this stands or falls on its descriptive powers, and the descriptions in this book are sharp and vivid. For example: “Broad-winged white-bellied birds screeched as they swooped in search of food, and a cacophany of insects chirruped their displeasure at her intrusion. A stone’s throw away, a hippo played, heaving its great bulk out of the water, mouth gaping, snorting and grunting, before sinking beneath the surface.”
So, go check out the Look Inside, it’s available at all the Amazon stores: