Dael and the Painted People

Title: Dael and the Painted People
Author: Allan Richard Shickman
Publisher: Earthshaker Books
Publication Date: August 30, 2011
paperback, 168 pages
ISBN: 978-0-9790357-6-0
Genre: YA
available @ Amazon | B&N

A prehistoric adventure, this is the third of the Zan-Gah young adult books. When Dael, guilty and tormented, came to live with the tribe of the painted people, he longed for peace and restoration; but without knowing it, he made a powerful enemy. Luckily, Dael had friends-including a troop of crows-and his own mystical powers. The disturbed and violent hero learns from the Children of the Earth, and from his submissive wife, a new way of life that is peaceful and generous. Dael and the Painted People is a story of conflict, healing, hate, and love by the winner of the Eric Hoffer Award, a finalist for the ForeWord magazine Book of the Year Award, and the Mom's Choice Gold Seal for Excellence in a family-friendly book series.

Dael and the Painted People by Allan Richard Shickman is the third book in the Zan-Gah series. The main character in this novel is Dael, Zan-Gah's twin brother. Dael has been through a lot. He was kidnapped by the wasp people as a child and tortured. He also lost his wife and child during childbirth. Dael is left emotionally scarred. He is full of hate and bitterness. As a result of his actions he must leave his home with the Ba-Coro. He takes with him, Sparrow, a young woman who can't speak. Together they make their way in search of the painted people.

Allan Shickman has not gone easy on Dael. Dael has been through a lot in his life. He is full of anger and bitterness. All that he loved he now despises. In the past two books I've felt sorry for Dael. His character is  very rough around the edges. Dael's put up a lot of walls that keep people out and make him hard to like. In this book some of the walls come down. I really liked how the author showed a different side of Dael and the inner struggles that take place inside of him. I was surprised that Dael took Sparrow with him. Sparrow can't speak and is meek. She didn't seem the sort of companion Dael would have chosen to go with him on his journey. I really liked seeing her character develop throughout this story. In a way her name suits her personality. Like a sparrow she is small and delicate but she's also strong and resourceful. 

The story line in this book is really good. Even though this is Dael's story, I was really glad that Shickman didn't leave out the characters from the previous books.  Dael's journey in this book is really symbolic to the inner healing that takes place inside Dael. Every step he takes toward the Painted People, he takes a step away from his harrowing past. I really like that the Painted People are a complete contradiction to how Dael has lived his life. The Painted People are very friendly, accepting and generous. They accept Dael and Sparrow with no questions asked and make them part of their tribe. However trouble seems to follow Dael where ever he goes. He quickly makes an enemy of Shunar, the tribe's shaman. Shunar will stop at nothing until he can get rid of Dael. The altercation between the two characters really tests Dael's resolve. 

This is a wonderful series set in prehistoric times. Allan Richard Shickman does a wonderful job writing about the hardships and challenges of living in this time period. The characters are wonderfully developed. 
Dael and the Painted People is a story about forgiveness, strength, and restoration. It is an emotionally charged adventure that is overwhelmingly brilliant. This is one of those series that kids as well as their parents enjoy reading. I enjoyed this book thoroughly and highly recommend this series. 

My rating:

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Other books by Allan Richard Shickman:

*I received this book from the publisher for review purposes only. This in no way influence my opinion.


  1. I have also enjoyed this series. After I read and reviewed them I donated them to my local junior high school library. Hopefully the kids will like them as much as I did.

  2. @Tammy,
    That's a wonderful idea. I really liked these books also. It a great YA series.

  3. I read all three ZAN-GAH books. Allan's latest book DAEL AND THE PAINTED PEOPLE was a great read along with the rest of the series.

    I don't know if Allan wants this cat out of the bag yet but he has started putting his books on Audio CD's.

    The first book "ZAN-GAH A PREHISTORIC ADVENTURE” has a lion hunt which is where ZAN (the main character) gets his name of honor. When you read the book, the lion hunt builds and builds in intensity until you are on the edge of your seat. When I hear Allan read the book on Voice CD, the lion hunt increases in intensity even more. The difference is I end up with goose bumps, waiting for a big cat to pounce on me.

    Allan is a master of dramatic reading!

    For a little audio taste of ZAN-GAH; go to http://www.zan-gah.com and press AUDIO SAMPLE to listen.

    J. F. Kosednar

  4. @ Joe Kosednar, I have heard about the audio books. I think it will be exciting to hear the author read these books.


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