The Walk of the Wandering Man by Ric Szabo is an epic story of humanity that starts 5000 years ago in the harsh environment of Central Europe.
Fans of Jean Auel’s Clan of the Cave Bear series will absolutely love this book. The plot is complex in that it encompasses the lives and deeds of a number of characters and their clans. The reader embarks on a journey with Vratu that informs as it entertains. The age of the hunter-gatherer was ending as the farmers began to assert their right to land. Clashes and killings, and some degree of xenophobia were inevitable as the fight over resources raged. Alliances are formed, then broken, then remade in an intricate story line. The reader who enjoys prehistory and its detail will be impressed, as I was, at the meticulous research done to bring the epoch to life. The author writes in a lyrical style that is appropriate for the genre, slightly archaic but most pleasing to read. A modern author voice would not have worked, and Szabo gets it just right.
I enjoyed the descriptions which are vivid and immersive; indeed, readers find themselves thrust right into the action, be it fighting to survive the elements or in the midst of battle. The story takes the reader back in time most amazingly. One wonders how early man managed to survive, how they learned to create tools, to make clothing, shelter, medicines, all the things that the modern reader wouldn’t give a second thought. Social constructs and mores, traditions, customs, and laws are explained by seamlessly integrating them into the plot. The themes of spirituality and worship, and the place of nature in an emerging society’s ethos are clear. The story unfolds at a leisurely pace, although the prologue starts with action and mystery, and death. This is an epic adventure and one that belongs not only to Vratu, but to the communities he encounters and the people he calls his friends and companions. A thought-provoking, instructive, and extremely enjoyable read.
- Fiona Ingram, Readers Favourite
. . . a story of coming of age, compassion, love, horror, and genocide . . . the detailed and descriptive narration brings the characters alive and makes the scenes vivid. The imagery is exquisite and the author enhances it with his clever wordplay. I liked the element of shamanism that runs through the plot. Since it is set in primitive times, there is a sort of rawness and crudeness in the behaviors of the characters depicted.
The storytelling is exceptional and each scene segues into the next one effortlessly. There is a bit of violence that is demanding of the plot and the era it has been set in. There are many characters in the story and I like the way the author has knitted them around Vratu without sounding forced. There is a lot of action happening hence there is not a dull moment in the story till it ends. The character of Vratu has been portrayed in a way that he dominates the plot till the end, whether he is there in the frame or not. A story for fans of ancient history and those who wonder about early man.
- Mamta Madhaven, Readers Favourite
. . . Szabo really has a good hand when it comes to pacing and making you feel connected to what is happening on the pages . . . plot has great action and, overall, it is an enjoyable read. If you don't mind emotions while reading (which I enjoy), it really makes this book a perfect story. I recommend you grab it and curl up for a great read.
- Kathryn Bennett, Readers Favourite