Fiction John R. Dann Song of the Axe

ISBN 13: 9780312869847

Song of the Axe

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9780312869847: Song of the Axe

Song of the Axe is the spell-binding story of two prehistoric lovers, Agon and Eena, their struggles and triumphs, and their sons. Agon is a great warrior, a master of the deadly axe song, the mystical music made by his weapon. Eena, beloved of Mother Earth, can cast a spear better than anyone alive. They fall in love by the banks of a huge, glacier-fed river at a time near the end of an ice age. But an invading tribe led by the evil shaman, Ka, destroys their tribe and kidnaps Eena. Agon must cross the river and rescue her, against great odds. They marry, and found a new family in a faraway land. But the children of Ka live, and seek vengeance on the sons of Axe Man and Spear Woman.

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From Publishers Weekly:

Potent if overlong, Dann's (The Good Neighbors) prehistoric epic is a dizzying amalgam of legend, myth, archaeology, warfare and romance. Set somewhere on the Eurasian continent around 30,000 B.C., the novel pits lovers Agon and Eena against tradition and taboo in a time of immense brutality and a place of vast, pristine beauty. Agon is known simply as Axe Man while Eena is referred to as Spear Woman, a title she first lives up to in a gruesome scene in which she adroitly casts her spear down the throat of a hyena. Agon is the son of mighty chieftain and sorcerer Grae, leader of a warrior tribe known as the Bison Hunters. He spies golden-haired Eena with her brother and father along the banks of an immense glacier-fed river. Before his eyes, the men are slaughtered by a rival Neanderthal tribe led by the murderous shaman, Ka, who kidnaps and rapes Eena. Heroic Axe Man saves Spear Woman, and the two begin their own tribe, yet they still fear the vengeance of Ka's children. Their love is not like that of their fellow cave-dwellers, but a reciprocal passion and a mutual respect for each other's strengths. In his sweeping, cast-of-thousands tale, Dann tackles the culture of the Ice Age in sparse, biblically tinged prose. Agent, Bernard Shir-Cliff. Author tour. (Apr.)Forecast: It's hard to determine the ideal audience for this one those drawn to the romantic element may be turned off by all the gore, and vice versa, while many will tire of the protracted and stilted narrative but fans of Jean Auel's Earth's Children series are a safe bet.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist:

In the tradition of Clan of the Cave Bear (1980), this prehistoric epic introduces a gallery of memorable characters while successfully conjuring the primitive culture and environment of the Ice Age. When Agon, a fierce warrior and master of the hunt, falls in love with Eena, renowned for her prowess with the spear, their path to happiness is marred by tragedy. When members of a savage tribe ambush Eena and her family, Eena is raped by Ka, the foul Snake Man. After Agon rescues Eena, custom dictates that he must kill her in order to bring back the spirits of her slain father and brother. Unable to do so, the lovers flee to the Blue Hills, establishing a home and raising a family. Vowing revenge and determined to claim Eena as his wife, Ka continues to stalk them across the years and the frozen plains. Suffused in the mythology and mysticism of an ancient era, this mesmerizing saga will enthrall a broad spectrum of readers. Margaret Flanagan
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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