The back cover compares this book to "Clan of the Cave Bear". The storyline is good, but some characters become somewhat tedious in their emotional hang-ups. This actually works out well for the storyline, as it gives the shamanistic side of the plot more depth and validity. Kerlew, shaman-in-training and the troubled son of the healer Tillu, is a satisfyingly complex character. If the sequel revolves around this boy, it ought to be a fine book.