February 20, 2013

Beyond the Sea of Ice by William Sarabande

Beyond the Sea of Ice is the first book in a prehistoric series by William Sarabande.  As the first book, it is of course where you should start reading, as it introduces all of the characters.

Lonit, Torka, and Torka's old father (Umak, who is 45 and considered old by the prehistoric standards) are the only survivors of a tribe who encountered an enraged mammoth.  Together, they have to survive and seek out a new place to live if they wish to get back on their feet again.  But they have a hard road ahead with dangerous people and animals everywhere.  Not to mention Torka is grieving his wife and children and looks at Lonit with revulsion now.  But Lonit is used to that, because of her strange eyes she's always been considered ugly, she just hopes to be useful so she can continue to travel with the two, as it is her only hope for survival.

I like Lonit.  She's a bit moony over Torka and he can be a jerk sometimes, but her heart's in the right place and she's a hard worker.  It's hard to realize that in this book she is only in her early teens as she seems so much older.  Especially in the second half.  And she goes through quite a bit that no young child should have to go through.  Torka is a strong, steady, mostly decent man who has a few flaws.  But he's loyal to a fault and that speaks in his favor.  And Umak, well he's got a bit of an ego and can be superficial, but deep down he too has a good heart.  Karana, a little boy they meet in their travels, is probably the most interesting character though because of his backstory and abilities with nature.

This book kind of puts a spin on the prehistoric genre because it deals with a lot of death of tribes instead of having them advancing and discovering things.  Sure there are a few inventions thrown into the mix to make life better, but largely, this book is just about survival.  And because of the topic of survival, there is a lot of death and violence in this book.  And also rape, sex, and other things that tend to bother people when they're reading.  So if you can't handle that stuff, stay clear of this book.  Really, my only complaint about the book would be the romance between Lonit and Torka.  They start out at very opposing odds and then out of nowhere it changes.  I kept going back to see if I accidentally missed a few pages (I didn't) but I just couldn't see the chemistry there.

A good series and I'm eager to get a start on the next book.  This is definitely one that fans of the Gears or Jean Auel would probably enjoy.

Beyond the Sea of Ice
Copyright 1987
370 pages

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