The Horsemasters: A Novel of Prehistory

The Horsemasters: A Novel of Prehistory

by Joan Wolf

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Despite its ambitious and imaginative subject, Wolf's second novel set in a prehistoric era is disappointing. Beginning 50 years after Daughter of the Red Deer , it investigates the Magdelenian culture of Paleolithic Southern Europe through the story of Ronan and his bittersweet struggle for survival. His mother Arika, Mistress of the Tribe of the Red Deer, spurns Ronan at birth, foreseeing and fearing the authority he could grow up to wield over her people. Cast from his community, Ronan begins a fight for the preservation of his life and that of his Kindred, a quest that will carry him through treacherous mountain passes, across snow-laden valleys and along a River of Gold to a final encounter with the deadly Horsemasters. Unfortunately, the novel is pedestrian both in its uninspiring themes and in its repetitious, cliche-laden prose, which features stilted dialogue that tends to blur the characters, since they all sound the same. Numerous (if sometimes predictable) plot developments and a touching relationship between Ronan and his wife Nel provide some motivation to finish the book, but overall this is an uncompelling read. ( May )
Library Journal
With The Horsemasters , Wolf continues her saga of paleolithic people begun in Daughter of the Red Deer ( LJ 9/15/91). Set 50 years after that work, this new book tells the tale of Ronan, the charismatic son of the Mistress of the Red Deer, who is falsely accused of blasphemy and exiled from his tribe. Ronan faces two challenges: to form a tribe of his own with other misfits and outcasts and to weld this group into a fighting unit capable of leading the mountain tribes against a new threat--fierce tribesmen from the north whose mastery of the horse enables them to conquer at will. Characters have less depth here than in Wolf's previous title but are likable and easily carry the story forward. The well-constructed plot is suspenseful, and an appealing romance--a Wolf trademark--also adds interest. Fans of Jean Auel and Sue Harrison as well as readers of Daughter will enjoy this.-- Beth Ann Mills, New Rochelle P.L., N.Y.

Product Details

Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
9.26(w) x 6.27(h) x 1.31(d)

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