The Stone Arrow

The Stone Arrow

by Richard Herley
3.8 64

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The Stone Arrow by Richard Herley

When the men of Burh, settlers from continental Europe, fall upon the sleeping nomad tribe in the depths of the forest amid the Downs of southern England, Tagart is the only survivor, escaping by sheer chance after his wife and young son have been massacred. Twenty-five and heir to the chiefdom of the roving hunters, he sees his only inheritance now to be an overwhelming urge for merciless revenge - of his family, his tribe and indeed of a way of life which in the England of 5,000 years ago is steadily being eroded by these tillers of the soil.

Tagart’s first objective for his single-handed work of retribution is the fortified village of Burh (in what is now known as the Cuckmere Valley), and the means he uses are more subtle and deadly than any traditional form of attack. This story of his revenge, his subsequent savage enslavement by the new lords of the land and his escape with Segle, the beautiful sister of another captive, introduces a new author of considerable significance. Richard Herley writes with acute sense of place, of wind and weather, of wild life and of the background of Stone Age England when the countryside is in its last virgin state before civilization begins.

Extent: 71,400 words (about 238 conventional pages)

Product Details

BN ID: 2940000824412
Publisher: Richard Herley
Publication date: 02/15/2010
Series: Pagans , #1
Sold by: Smashwords
Format: NOOK Book
Sales rank: 196,752
File size: 309 KB
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

I was born in England in 1950 and educated at Watford Boys' Grammar School and Sussex University, where my interest in natural history led me to read biology. My first successful novel was "The Stone Arrow", which was published to critical acclaim in 1978. It subsequently won the Winifred Holtby Memorial Prize, administered by the Royal Society of Literature in London, and was the first in a trilogy. This was followed by "The Penal Colony" (1987), a futuristic thriller that formed the basis of the 1994 movie "No Escape", starring Ray Liotta. The main difficulty for the author is making his voice heard in the roar of self-promotion. I believe that the work I am producing now is of higher quality than my prize-winning first, and ask you, the reader, to help spread the word by telling your friends if you have enjoyed one of my books.

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The Stone Arrow 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 61 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is set in southern Britain in 5000 B.P., in the late Neolithic, which is of special interest to me as an archeology student. It's about the conflict between the native hunter-gatherers, leading a Mesolithic lifestyle, and the immigrant farmers from the European mainland. There is no evidence that such a conflict took place on the other hand there is no evidence that it didn't: given the recent history of such places as Kosovo or northern Iraq, I rather incline to Herley's point of view. The artefacts, cultures and landscape are recreated with masterly skill. It's one of those rare novels that gives an immersive experience. There's something peculiar and remarkable about the effect that Herley's imagination has on your own. The action is rapid, luminous, and irresistible. I don't want to give any of the story away. Let me just say that it makes 'Rambo' look like a vicarage tea-party. You have been warned! This novel predates Jean Auel's ponderous series of Paleolithic novels and may even have given her the idea. It's a shame it has been unavailable for so long, but the recent reissue of this and his other books is a welcome, and overdue, development.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I first read The Stone Arrow twenty some odd years ago. I am getting ready to read it again for the third time. Richard Herley is a master story teller. You will not be able to put this book down....enjoy!
widlflower More than 1 year ago
Richard Herley has a way of putting you in the shoes of the characters-very descriptive and rich. Some people find that distracting, I like it. This story is about survival, doing the right thing and being true to oneself. It takes place in a very primitive culture. I liked it a lot.
alice0309 More than 1 year ago
This book started off very good but the avenging attitude that permeated through out became very old. Not enough about the way early man lived and too much about getting even. I was disappointed.
celticgranny59 More than 1 year ago
Too much detail and description and not enough character development and plot. There are much better in this genre and theme.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I can't wait to resd the next two in the series. I am usually a sci- fi fan but I wanted something different. This is it. I did go though a history phase years aqo but I must say this novel well worth reading. Sanna7125
RandyMason More than 1 year ago
Contains concepts and situations that stick with you... I would recommend this to my archeologist friends... A bit bloody at times, but, there are few religions that don't have such a sorted past.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
While I will admit that this was well written it is very difficult to say exactly what I think without giving away the plot. The hero (term used loosely) destroys an entire village and all of it's inhabitant to satisfy a need for revenge, but when he has a chance to do some actual good and rid the world of someone who is truly dangerous to everyone he suddenly develops compassion? I don't buy it. I will not be reading the other books in this series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Stone age in England would NOT have corn crops. Corn is an American crop not introduced to Europe until the 1500's
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have read several of his books now and have enjoyed them all. He isn't new, since most books were written in the 80's and 90's but new to me. BrynnS
Cromag More than 1 year ago
I read this book straight through. I'm not an expert on Neolithic Britain, but the setting rang true. This story is set 5000 years ago, as small farming communities are encroaching on the forests and bringing an end to the hunter-gatherer bands that have lived in the woods for generations. It is a story of ambition and revenge. It is very violent, but the author, to his credit, doesn't linger on the violence, or go into unnecessary detail. The protagonist is sympathetic, despite being a barbarian. The very beginning of the book struck me as a bit disjointed, but it settled down quickly. I liked it enough that I just bought the sequel, The Flint Lord, and I've already started reading it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Interesting indeed. Four hundred some pages. Long like the hunger games though. Definitely recommended
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good organization, believeable characters, good ending.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was my first and last book written by Richard Herley. I found his writing style hard to follow, his characters under developed and the fact that he clumped too much unnessary information frustrating, i.e. north-west to trees of this sort, south to marches, yada, yada, yada! I have read every book by Jean M. Auel and some of Joan Wolfs and I really thought I was getting an exceptional treat by aquiring, The Stone Arrow for free...I was wrong. How he obtained such high reviews by the number of different sources; excluding readers, is beyond me. 400 plus pages of, "I just need to finish this book"! Only to be left hanging in the end. ArgggGrrrr! I think this book could have rated higher had the author slowed down enough to expand on the characters, thier situations, thoughts/feelings and actions, rather then superficially introduce information.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Awful. Boring and nonsensical.
SpyderRyder More than 1 year ago
I did enjoy reading this book. At times it eas difficult to keep up with what was going on. some characters were blurred and were hard to keep up with.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Well written i enjoyed this book
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
i love the story outline the way it flows i highy recommand anyone to read this book the way its written i firmly believe anyone could enjoy it. i give it a full 5stars