Monday, August 22, 2011

ARC Review: Dael and the Painted People

Dael and the Painted People (Zan-Gah, 3) by Allan Richard Shickman, August 30, 2011. 168 pages. Published by Earthshaker Books. Source: Publisher for review.
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.
First Sentence:
To dream of a head dripping with blood and look into its glazed lifeless eyes might, even in sleep, leave the dreamer changed and chastened.
Dael and the Painted People is the third book in the Zan-Gah series (See links below for my thoughts on the first two books).
The one thing I've noticed with each successive Zan-Gah book is that Mr. Shickman's writing just keeps on getting better, along with his ability to just pull me right into the story and the characters struggles in such a vibrantly harsh landscape. 

What makes Dael and the Painted People such a great read is how the well the author pulls you into the conflict that rages within Dael and his struggle to come to peace with himself and what he has done. There have been very few characters whose plight has so caught my attention as Dael's did.

I know that in my reviews for the first to Zan-Gah books I said how much I liked Zan as a character, but after reading Dael and the Painted People came to the realization that I prefer Dael over Zan. The reason for this is after going through some really rough patches (being kidnapped as a child, going berserk, and losing his wife and child) and how by the end of the book he through the kindness of Sparrow and the Children of the Earth. His struggle to move on was just written so well.
  As for Sparrow, I thought she was an okay character. Don't get me wrong I liked her, especially with how she helped Dael to overcome his past. For the time that the book is set she's great character, but out of the era she would most likely come off as weak.

While Dael and the Painted People has an incredibly interesting plot and characters, my absolute favorite thing about this book would have to be Mr. Shickman's writing. His writing and storytelling is just so vivid that it pulls you in from the very first page. I was going to read just one more chapter before calling it a night, but I just could not put it down because I was so absorbed in what was happening. 
    I wouldn't necessarily call this my least favorite part of the book, just the part that I had the most trouble getting into; I found it at times just a little hard to get into reading about the rituals the Children of the Earth participated in. It's not that they weren't well written or anything, just a little odd.

Final Verdict: Dael and the Painted People could not put it down! Such a great follow up to the first two books.

Dael and the Painted People earns 5 out of 5 pineapples.

More Reviews:


  1. Hi Orchid,

    Thank you for a lovely review. Among other things, DAEL AND THE PAINTED PEOPLE is Sparrow's love story. I sort of sneaked love in, and refused to get overly romantic or mushy. We all want love, don't we, but we don't always know what it is.

    Keep on writing. I am so glad that you have enjoyed the ZAN-GAH book series.

    A. R. Shickman

  2. Hi Orchid,

    I read all three ZAN-GAH books. Allan's latest book DAEL AND THE PAINTED PEOPLE was a great read along with the rest of the series.

    I don't know if Allan wants this cat out of the bag yet but he has started putting his books on Audio CD's.

    The first book "ZAN-GAH A PREHISTORIC ADVENTURE” has a lion hunt which is where ZAN (the main character) gets his name of honor. When you read the book, the lion hunt builds and builds in intensity until you are on the edge of your seat. When I hear Allan read the book on Voice CD, the lion hunt increases in intensity even more. The difference is I end up with goose bumps, waiting for a big cat to pounce on me.

    Allan is a master of dramatic reading!

    For a little audio taste of ZAN-GAH; go to and press AUDIO SAMPLE to listen.

    J. F. Kosednar


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