Although this tale of a young woman's adventures during the last Ice Age is insufficiently complex for older readers, adolescents may find it entertaining and thought provoking. After the Panther People are nearly decimated in a surprise attack by an enemy hunting party, 12-year-old Laena and her 8-year-old sister, Moru, strike out on their own. They are soon taken under the wing of Nan of No People, an elderly healer who travels from tribe to tribe and, she says, answers "to no one but myself." Laena, Moru and Nan find a haven with the Wolf Tribe, whom Nan has treated in the past, until danger compels them to move on. They find a new roost with the Fisher People, who recently lost their healer. As Laena matures, discovers her sexuality, learns the ways of her new tribe, marries and astonishes the Fishers with her desire to learn to hunt--the heretofore unquestioned privilege of men--she is haunted by dreams of a beautiful land that, she comes to believe, it is her destiny to discover. Since the pseudonymous Prentiss makes her points clearly, readers will easily see how Laena's courage and determination help her survive natural dangers and cope with patriarchal society.