Zan-Gah and the Beautiful Country Review

Thursday, August 19, 2010

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.
Taken from GoodReads.

I received Zan-Gah and the Beautiful Country, as well as the first book in the series, Zan-Gah: A Prehistoric Adventure free of charge from Bonnie of Earthshaker Books in exchange for an honest review. This, in no way, affected my opinion or review of this book.

Zan-Gah and the Beautiful Country follows Zan-Gah and his twin brother Dael as they move to the Beautiful Country (from which they barely escaped before) and discover the depth of their brotherhood. Dael is struggling to adjust to life outside of captivity, and the torture in his mind and body is evident as he pushes Zan farther and farther away. Though there are glimpses of what Dael used to be like, Zan can't help but wonder if the twin he knew and loved is gone forever.

This series is one I've never heard of before, but when I was approached to review it, I gladly accepted the opportunity. The prose is eloquent throughout the book, and Allan Richard Shickman does an excellent job of creating a voice that's both relatable and poignant. Each character is clearly relevant and different - while Zan commands respect with his intelligence, Dael does so with extreme force. Shickman also does an excellent job of making every character (no matter how minor) have a significant purpose throughout the story.

The bottom line - Zan-Gah and the Beautiful Country is a beautifully-written book, and one I definitely enjoyed. That said, I truly am not a fan of the covers. For such brilliant writing, I would expect an equal cover, and I don't believe either measured up. I give this book around a 4 out of 5, and I would recommend it to mostly a Middle Grade audience, though some YA fans might like it, as well.

Favourite Quote: "On the fifth day Dael woke in a calmer temper, like a raging river that has gone down in the night."


  1. Sounds like a great book. I agree, not a fan of the cover.

    Love the new look!

    btw, have an award for you;

  2. This book sounds nice, but the cover doesn't appeal to me. I guess we can't judge a book by its cover! I enjoyed reading your review!

  3. Totally not appealing even one must not judge a book by its cover. Seriously. But the book really sounds nice. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Glad you enjoyed this one! It sure sounds like it's filled with action and adventure... so exciting. But I agree, the cover isn't the most attractive ever! Great review, though.

  5. Thanks for a well written, favorable review. I am glad you liked Zan-Gah and the Beautiful Country. But I sure do wonder what you guys have against the cover. I think it exactly fits the book—Zan in the shadow of his violent twin, whose fury is comparable to the erupting volcano behind. If I had to choose, I would prefer that you liked the book and not the cover than the reverse.

    Thanks again, and keep up the good work.

    Allan R. Shickman

  6. This book does sound interesting, but you are right-the cover doesn't do the book any favors.

  7. This one looks great! I really wanna read this series!


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