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Zan-Gah and the Beautiful Country by Allan…
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Zan-Gah and the Beautiful Country

by Allan Richard Shickman

Series: Zan-Gah (2)

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Zan-Gah and the beautiful country by Allan Richard Shickman

Genre: Historic adventure YA
Pages: 2009
Published: 151

The prehistoric saga continues in Zan-Gah and the Beautiful Country, the sequel to the award winning Zan-Gah: A Prehistoric Adventure. In this story, Zan s troubled twin brother, Dael, having suffered greatly during his earlier captivity, receives a ruinous new shock when his wife suddenly dies. Disturbed and traumatized, all of his manic energies explode into acts of hostility and bloodshed. His obsession is the destruction of the wasp men, his first captors, who dwell in the Beautiful Country. When he, Zan-Gah, and a band of adventurers trek to their bountiful home, they find that all of the wasp people have died in war or of disease. The Beautiful Country is empty for the taking, and Zan s people, the Ba-Coro, decide to migrate and resettle there. But the Noi, Dael s cruelest enemies and former tormentors, make the same migration from their desert home, and the possibility develops of contention and war over this rich and lovely new land.


This is the second book about Zan-Gah and his adventures in a prehistoric environment. In the last book he saved his brother and invented the sling. In this book he is married and his brother has lost his wife and is only getting stranger and more violent. The torment he suffered while a slave has put deep wounds in his soul. Dael is a tortured soul. Zan-Gah only wants to help. He finds a bit of hope when the tribes move away to a new land.

Dael is really really far along in this book, Zan-Gah has my sympathizes and he dearly loves his brother and tries to protect them. But his brother is leading them to ruin because he is violent and hateful.

Zan is the same nice person who wants peace and to give the tribes a better future. He is also rather blind at times, when it comes to his wife and when it comes to his brother.

This book is darker and more violent than the previous. I think it said 11 and up and there I do agree because there is death and war and bloody murder in this one. Still he writes it in regard for the age group so nothing violent and such written. But it is there, and yes it was another time but still the age should be held here because since it was a different time they might wonder how everyone got married early and had kids and such.

This book is about the journey towards a new land, settling there, the rift between two brothers and how wrong things can be. it also has a strong woman in it, Zan's wife Pax, and it deals with a lot of emotion. Serious things among the rest. An interesting YA book about an era we do not get to read much about.

Blodeuedd's Cover Corner: That is Dael, the scary looking one
Reason for reading: From the publisher
Final thoughts: I do think teenage boys could like it, the action, the adventure ( )
  blodeuedd | Mar 2, 2016 |
How would you react if your kind, sweet brother turned into a bitter, vengeful enemy? In the first book of this series, Zan-Gah: A Prehistoric Adventure, Zan-Gah’s twin brother, Dael, had been captured by the Wasp People, who abused him, and then sold as a slave to the Noi People, who also abused him, so Zan goes in search of his brother. Zan and Dael escape, along with Lissa-Na, a Noi woman who has nursed Dael, and Rydl, a Wasp boy whom Zan has befriended. At the end of the book, Dael marries Lissa-Na. As Zan-Gah and the Beautiful Country begins, Lissa-Na dies in childbirth along with her and Dael’s baby. Dael has healed from his abuse physically but not emotionally and becomes very spiteful and unpredictable.
In his hyperactivity, Dael asks Zan to go with him on a quest which the boys had talked about since childhood, finding the source of the Nobla River. Zan’s wife Pax, Rydl, and a couple of Dael’s friends accompany them. Dael’s unspoken motive is to take vengeance on both the Wasp and Noi peoples. However, when they reach the land of the Wasp People, which Zan calls the Beautiful Country because it has plenty of water, vegetation, and animals, they find that a plague has killed all but one person. The group then decides to bring all the five clans of the Ba-Coro people to live in the Beautiful Country. What dangers and enemies will they face along the way? And how will the attitudes and actions of Dael, who now resents his brother’s position of leadership, affect the Ba-Coro, especially when some of the Noi People want to settle nearby?
As I said in my review of Zan-Gah: A Prehistoric Adventure, which was a winner of the Eric Hoffer Notable Book Award, there are not a lot of books for young adults set in prehistoric times, at least that I have seen. I shall be honest and note that Zan-Gah and the Beautiful Country did not quite hold my attention as well as the first book, but it is still an interesting story that is told with a great deal of excitement and adventure. Again, because of the savage and somewhat barbaric scenario in which it takes place, it is not for small or sensitive children. However, the violence portrayed is not gratuitous or overly detailed. Teens can profit from reading about the development of Dael’s problems, how Zan works to help his brother handle them, and their final resolution. A further sequel, Dael and the Painted People, is due out later this year.
  Homeschoolbookreview | Jul 6, 2011 |
Dael's life has fallen apart. The calming that came to Dael over the few years home with his healer wife quickly shatters as his loving wife passed away during child birth with their child. He now feels the need to make dangerous journey through the potentially deadly world again, to see where the local river starts. Also in his mind, to find the Wasp people as they are still an unknown threat to his cave dwelling people. Zan is convinced to go with his brother fore his worry for him in this state of mind. But with learning the fate of the Wasp people brings another idea to the minds of the twins. Zan once again uses his gift of speech to help convince his people to take advantage of the fruitful land left empty.

I think I enjoyed reading this book more than the first. It could be read on it's own as Allan has done a great job of reflecting on the happenings in the first book to bring you up to par, but I think knowing what all happened to the characters in the first book helps make this book more enjoyable. Many of the people Zan meet and touched on their lives in the first book return in this book, a few years later. It is nice to see the connections revisited and see where the people are now and how that small touch Zan had affected their lives.

I really like the potential in the plot of this book in the beginning. There are more pieces and possibilities to the out come of the story. And the journey based on the decisions made is a good one. The characters in this book were more connectible for me too. Even though Zan is still the main character of the book we start to get a deeper look at Dael, his twin brother, and he kind of stole the spot light for me when he was mentioned. The dramatic character growth of Dael was amazing and well done. Dael is a character that catches your attention and is anything but dull.

I still think this series is a great series for young readers to pick up. ( )
  MelHay | Mar 30, 2011 |
As realistically written as its predecessor, Zan-Gah and the Beautiful Country takes place years after Zan is reunited with his twin brother. Where Zan-Gah: A Prehistoric Adventure grips you with its page-turning action, this one attacks you with an emotional roller coaster that has you holding your breath until the end.

The main theme of this book for me was the trials of brotherhood, as Dael pushes his brother further and further away as he struggles to live his life normally outside of captivity. We're given flashbacks of what Dael was like before he was imprisoned, and those scenes only made my heart ache more for Zan-Gah, as he's gone so much to get THAT brother back. Dael is definitely a darker character, but he has gone through a lot. The only thing that was keeping him sane has been lost to him as well, which makes the struggle that much harder. Just like the brothers, all of the characters in the story are beautifully written and all have a purpose in the book.

I really don't know what else to say. This was as realistically and well-written as the first, and just as enjoyable. It's a must-read for middle graders and some YA readers as well. Full of action and emotion, it will enthrall even the most reluctant of readers. ( )
  missyreadsreviews | Feb 19, 2011 |
In this sequel to Zan-Gah we are carried on a roller coaster of emotions through the main character Dael, Zan-Gah's twin. He has been rescued by his brother yet he mind still lives through the two years he spent as a slave to the Noi where he was starved and tortured. During this time he fell in in love and married. After his wife dies in childbirth he pretty much snaps. He wants revenge on just about everyone. He decides he doesn't want to be a twin so he changes his appearance and develops his own following. For all of his troubles there is always an underlying hope that things will change for him and will work out. Zan-Gah's love for his brother and his memories of what he was like a a younger person before he was kidnapped keep him believing in his brother.
I loved the tension brought on when Zan-Gah married a girl who loved to hunt. This was not looked on favorably by his clan. He supported his wife in this. This is what made their bond stronger. This book has so many wonder discussion points. Topics such as post-traumatic stress disorder is just one of the many things kids can look at and connect to current events. The idea that people must change and adapt is another discussion point. Once again I sing praises to the author for creating such a wonderful book to recommend to teens and adults ( )
  skstiles612 | Feb 9, 2011 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0979035716, Paperback)

The prehistoric saga continues in Zan-Gah and the Beautiful Country, the sequel to the award winning Zan-Gah: A Prehistoric Adventure. In this story, Zan s troubled twin brother, Dael, having suffered greatly during his earlier captivity, receives a ruinous new shock when his wife suddenly dies. Disturbed and traumatized, all of his manic energies explode into acts of hostility and bloodshed. His obsession is the destruction of the wasp men, his first captors, who dwell in the Beautiful Country. When he, Zan-Gah, and a band of adventurers trek to their bountiful home, they find that all of the wasp people have died in war or of disease. The Beautiful Country is empty for the taking, and Zan s people, the Ba-Coro, decide to migrate and resettle there. But the Noi, Dael s cruelest enemies and former tormentors, make the same migration from their desert home, and the possibility develops of contention and war over this rich and lovely new land.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:00:52 -0400)

The volcanic turbulence that shakes Dael's mind carries him to vicious extremes that even his brother can't always lead him from. Even the paradise of the Beautiful Country can't erase his destructive thoughts.

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