Friday, October 7, 2011

Dael and the Painted People by Dr. Allan Richard Shickman

Dael and the Painted People
A prehistoric adventure, this is the third of the Zan-Gah young adult books. When Dael, guilty and tormented, came to live with the tribe of the painted people, he longed for peace and restoration; but without knowing it, he made a powerful enemy. Luckily, Dael had friends-including a troop of crows-and his own mystical powers. The disturbed and violent hero learns from the Children of the Earth, and from his submissive wife, a new way of life that is peaceful and generous. Dael and the Painted People is a story of conflict, healing, hate, and love by the winner of the Eric Hoffer Award, a finalist for the ForeWord magazine Book of the Year Award, and the Mom's Choice Gold Seal for Excellence in a family-friendly book series.

Dael and the Painted People is the third novel in the Zan Gah series and the best yet in my opinion. This one read like a novel for middle graders set in prehistoric times. I don't know how historically accurate it was but it was a great novel.

Dael has had a hard life and parted ways with his people the Ba-Coro. His only companion is Sparrow, a mute girl that fell in love with a boy who couldn't love her. She doesn't have any idea why she's going with Dael, but she is. Different points of view are read throughout the story, but we get a really good look into the mind of Dael who left so crazy with anger and, well, kinda crazy. And into the mind of Sparrow.

It is wonderful to see Sparrow assert herself and grow into a chatty, friendly girl when they join the Painted People who have a language that uses clicks and guttural sounds instead of words. It's the first time Sparrow can communicate and she is a totally different person. She lives up to her name and makes the first friends she's ever had and builds her confidence. Dael is amazed by her and has to learn from her. But he's also comforted by her and they grow into a comfortable existence with the Painted People.

Dael is still haunted by victims of his past and the tortures he endured. And he has been getting a reputation as a medicine man because of his knowledge of healing herbs and his ability to be in touch with the spirit world. He incurs the jealousy of the local Shaman who tries everything to discredit Dael, who is so ignorant of the man's jealousy he doesn't watch out for himself.

Throughout the novel, life is portrayed much as we've all been taught our prehistoric ancestors lived. I think this is a great novel for anyone that has an interest in reading a novel set in this time period. The action in the story is compelling enough to move the story forward, maybe slower than other books, but it kind of mirrors the lifestyle of the Painted People. I found this to be my favorite of Dr. Shickman's books so far and read it quickly in an afternoon. With his descriptions and having read the previous two books, I expected to look up and find myself in the Painted land. I highly recommend this one!

Thanks to Dr. Shickman and to Earthshaker Books for the ARC of Dael and the Painted People. This in no way influenced my review of the book.


  1. i'm in the middle of this book right now. I think I like the second book the best so far though. This one is really good, but the second one had so many great characters! I guess i miss zan gah lol!

  2. This book sounds cute! Hope you're well and having a fun weekend Heather? I have a book review over at mine too -

    Shah .X

  3. My son Kole read the first two books in the series and was so "eh" about them that I haven't picked them up. I know they are really short (comparatively speaking), but I just can't do it.

  4. Carrie- Keep reading!

    Shah- Just logged on so I'll be over

    Book Sake- This third one seems to be a lot different for me than the other two. This one seems, dare I say, a romance in a sense. I mean it's totally clean but Dael isn't the monster he was before. It's really a good story.


  5. I've never heard of this series but it sounds good! Dael reminds me of My Dean who still suffers from all the damned souls he tortured in Hell.

    I like the plot and the character descriptions you wrote about and anything you highly recommend is sure to be something I'll love!

    Great review, Heather! Thanks for sharing!

  6. Thanks my Faery friend! To understand Dael and why this book is such a triumph for him you have to read the other two. To me, they weren't as enjoyable, but his one I totally immersed myself in.


  7. I've never had much of an urge to read these books, but it seems like I've seen some good reviews on them. I actually think this is a series my mother in law might like. But that might just be cause she loves The Clan of the Cave Bear books SO much. Since she loves them do you think she'd like these ones (I know these are aimed at a younger audience)? Have you read Clan of the Cave Bear?
    Anyway, fantastic review. It's possible I may read these in future cause they seem to be decent reads.


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