Friday, October 7, 2011

Dael and The Painted People by Allan Richard Shickman

Author:  Allan Richard Shickman
Genre:  Young Adult
Publisher:  Earthshaker Books  
Publication Date:  30th August 2011 
ISBN:  9780979035760
Stand alone or series:  Book 3 in the Zan-Gah Series
Pages:  155 pages 
Book Received from:  Publisher
First Lines:  To dream of a head dripping with blood and look into its glazed and lifeless eyes might, even in sleep, leave the dreamer changed and chastened.

Possible Spoilers if you haven't read the previous two books

The whole time the shaman was speaking, he shook a bony finger at his enemy - a finger that was almost doubled in length by the long nail."Did you dare to strike my brother?" Mlaka demanded, not without an evident note of sadness. 

Dael did not answer.  His eyes were fixed on an empty corner of the chamber.  Something back there was bothering him, and he looked more closely.  His vision was blurred and he was a little dizzy.  Who was that standing apart in the shadows?  Dael stopped listening to the voices around him and intently focused on someone he only gradually recognized - a wrinkled, haggard old woman that nobody else could see.  She had glazed eyes, and a spear in her breast.  It was Hurnoa, dead and yet alive! 

When Dael, guilty and tormented, came to live with the painted people, he longed for peace and restoration; but without knowing it he made a powerful enemy.

My Thoughts:
It had been over a year since I had picked up Zan-Gah and The Beautiful Country but I fell back into the omniscient narrative easily

I think I've enjoyed this book the most out of the three.  The story is mostly told from Dael's POV and it explains alot of the inner turmoil that he suffers and his erratic mood swings.  Sparrow follows him when he decides to leave Zan-Gah's camp and while she trails behind to begin with, they form a bond that surprisingly grows to turn into a relationship.  

I must admit I didn't really like Dael from the previous book as he seemed erratic and a bit "off cogs" but this third book and the changes in Dael really have me cheering for him towards the end.  His unending loyalty and love towards Sparrow I'm sure helps to heal his wounds as well as sparking the friendship with Koli a member of the crimson tribe.

We do see glimpses back to Ba-Coro and what is happening there.  I don't want to give away too much but I'm definitely loving the ending of this.  I believe this story couldn't have finished on a more positive note.

If you're after something a little different, one where there is conflict with local shamans, learning to adapt and deal with circumstance and healing, and finding love when it didn't seem possible then you will like this.

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