If you’re looking for some new reading material for your youth, we have a suggestion. The Eyes of the Leopard by local author Brian D. Hayden is an enthralling read and was well-received by our 11 year-old reviewer and many other reviewers including the Vancouver Sun.
Set in the Stone Age of France with prehistoric era of giant mammoths, painted caves, and fearsome cave lions. Fleeing starvation in their home territory, thirteen-year-old Sev and his family have been grudgingly accepted into the powerful Bear Clan. Yet as his father climbs the ranks of the mysterious group of shamans known as the Lion Lodge, Sev finds himself questioning the strange beliefs of his adopted band. Determined to unravel the secrets of the Lodge and prove his bravery, Sev accepts a dare to enter the Cave of Lions—a forbidden cavern high on the mountain where the shamans of the Lodge commune with powerful spirits.
When Sev’s trespass is revealed by his rival, Bakar, he is forced to make an impossible choice: join the Lodge or be exiled from the Clan—and exile is a potentially fatal sentence in the Ice Age world. Even joining the Lodge is no guarantee of survival, as their deadly politics are reinforced with dangerous tests of loyalty.
A YA adventure novel set in France during the last Ice Age, The Eyes of the Leopard is inspired by archaeologist and anthropologist Dr. Brian Hayden’s lifetime experience in the field studying prehistoric and ethnographic hunter-gatherer societies. Hayden’s expertise brings realistic depth to this classic coming-of-age story, painting Sev’s life of communal hunts, ritual feasting, and spiritual ceremonies “with the vivacity of a graphic novel” and providing an excellent introduction for young readers interested in archaeology. With art by professional archaeological illustrator Eric Carlson, the novel has been acclaimed by Hayden’s peers as a successful union of scientific work and storytelling.
What I liked about the book: I liked its mysterious and twisty story and the characters, I also really liked the story. It was interesting, fun and drew the reader in. I could relate to the lead character. It has a well thought out story design and lots of use of descriptive and interesting words and sentences. Once you start reading it draws you in and makes you more interested in the characters and their story.
The story is interesting and fun to read. Its descriptive wording helps capture your attention, and the little details and subtle changes make it really engaging. The character development is really amazing and at some points it felt like I was one of the characters, although the book gets a little confusing. But otherwise that’s the only complaint I have.
Recommendations: I would definitely recommend this book to readers of age 11 to 14. It’s very interesting and is more suitable for those ages. I would rate the book a 9.5/10.
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