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Song of the Axe Mass Market Paperback – 29 Aug 2002

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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 624 pages
  • Publisher: St Martin's Press; New edition edition (29 Aug. 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0812589505
  • ISBN-13: 978-0812589504
  • Product Dimensions: 10.9 x 3.5 x 17.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,496,454 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"Potent . . . Dann's prehistoric epic is a dizzying amalgam of legend, myth, archaeology, warfare and romance. . . . "-"Publishers Weekly""Impressive research lends flintiness to a work that holds up well indeed to Jean Auel's "Earth's Children" trilogy." -"Kirkus Reviews""In the tradition of" Clan of the Cave Bear", this prehistoric epic introduces a gallery of memorable characters while successfully conjuring the primitive culture and environment of the Ice Age. . . . Suffused in the mythology and mysticism of an ancient era, this mesmerizing saga will enthrall a broad spectrum of readers"-"Booklist"

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Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 22 April 2001
Format: Hardcover
 Having read and much enjoyed 'The Good Neighbours' by John R Dann I'd been looking forward to the author's next book. 'Song of the Axe' does not disappoint! It is an excellent novel which has been skilfully constructed to give a graphic picture of what life may have been like 30,000 years ago. The book is clearly well researched and has the right amount of detail to bring its characters vividly to life. (And now I know what the cave paintings were for!) This story is a fast moving and gripping read in which I found myself lost in another - prehistoric- dimension. 'Song of the Axe' is an unputdownable tale of two main characters - Axe Man (Agon) and Spear Woman (Eena). Eena has been favoured by the Earth Mother and is peerless at throwing her spear. Agon is highly skilled in the use and magic of the axe - he can sing the song of the axe, which makes it a formidable weapon. The reader is drawn into their tribal life with all its associated rites and the magic of their various gods. Essentially, this is the saga of the lives of Agon and Eena, their birth tribes, their own that they found together and other tribes they encounter during their many adventures. It is a tale of living with the land, passion, envy, good and evil. Depiction of ancient magic, superstitions and rites bring these prehistoric interglacial times brilliantly into being - it's amazing what could be accomplished without modern technology! I hope you enjoy this exciting book as much as I did! I look forward with great anticipation to the next book by John R Dann - a master storyteller!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mystical on 22 Oct. 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I am not really sure about this book and whilst I read the first 4 or 5 chapters in one go, I soon found myself skipping pages and ended up turning to the last chapter or two to see how it ended, something I always try not to do. Writing a book review is quite difficult in that literary enjoyment is very subjective in that people enjoy or dislike books for various reasons - as it should be (it would be a very dull world indeed if we all enjoyed the same thing!).

However, I was initially drawn to this book as I am a great fan of Jean M Auel's first 3 Earth Children books (the remaining books did not hold my interest for a number of reasons). From the outset this book is much darker in its content than the Earth Children series (which tends to promote a rather civilised, rosey view of life 30,000 years ago) so I found this a refreshing change. However, the book just didn't absorb me as I thought it would and I think this had something to do with the writing style, which again is a subjective view point. further, the story would jump by a number of years every so often so that the complete story could be told in one volume and whilst I understand the reasons for this, for me it just didn't allow the author enough time for me to feel deeply for any of the characters. The two main characters also seem to be a bit too perfect for their own good (as did Auel's characterisation of Ayla and Jondalar in the Earth Children series). I can't exactly put my finger on why this book didn't absorb me, as it does appear to be well researched. I was really hoping to be absorbed in the life of the characters but it just didn't happen.

It's not a bad book by any means - just one that failed to absorb me from beginning to end.
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Format: Hardcover
poor attempt to ride on the back of jean auels first 3 or 4 books(the good ones in my opinion).
the style and dialogues are very crude and made it very difficult for me to properly follow and get involved in the whole story.
a rather poor attempt to write a worthy novel about Mesolithic needs a bit more than visiting some painted caves and investigating the records...I expected much more and was quite disappointed.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 10 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Epic Tale of The Past 25 April 2006
By Ratqueen - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
As a big fan of prehistory novels, I held off reading this book for a long time because of the reviews here, so I was surprised to be so enthralled by it.

The story is quite epic, spanning the heroes' lifetime, and it's told with a lot of emotion and imagery. The main characters are deep and attaching, and the violent tribe of Ka seemed very realistic to me. The scenary is brought to life with a lot of skill, the landscape and atmostphere wonderfully described... I could see it, hear it, smell it, as if I were there -- a wonderful trip. I'm now greatly looking forward to reading Dann's new book, Song Of The Earth.

To those who rely on reviews before deciding whether to read a book or not, give this one a chance, it's worth it!
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Very engrossing 3 July 2004
By Mary Blevins - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I enjoyed this book and was shocked at the bad reviews. I expected to see a rating of at least 4 stars.
This book was a prehistoric generational soap opera in the best sense of the genre. There were surprises and twists and turns in the plot. Wonderful yet not over long descriptions of the natural world and what pre-historic life was like. There were characters you love and characters you loathe. There was mystery, magic, warlocks and totems.
One reviewer was upset because of Eena's quick recovery after being raped by the savage hunter Ka. I had no problem with Eena being raped and yet able to make love with Agon. It was only possible because she was healed and cleansed by the magic of the Earth Mother and to her that "magic" was utterly real. Someone wrote there was too much dependence on "magic" in the book. News flash. The book was about magic. And the interesting thing the author did is make you think that perhaps back then magic was real. Very, very real.
One reviewer commented that it was not sensible that a 3 year old boy would hate his father and want to kill him and take his mother away from his father. That shows she did not understand what she was reading. The boy had an evil spirit because of who his father really was.
I truly enjoyed this book. I would love to see it made into a mini-series! I hope the author does not get discourage by the dumb reviews of the naysayers. If he writes another book I will be sure to read it.
8 of 12 people found the following review helpful
A winner 22 Mar. 2001
By Harriet Klausner - Published on
Format: Hardcover
30,000 BC in Eurasia during an age when the ice melts and rivers overflow, everyone reveres and fears the seemingly invincible fighter Agon and his magical axe. Eena has also earned quite the reputation from their clan members due to her abilities with throwing a spear.

The malevolent Ka, chieftain of a rival tribe, kidnaps Eena and destroys much of the clan. The intrepid Agon goes to rescue Eena and avenge his people knowing the odds against him, but also confident in the SONG OF THE AXE that he uses.

This novel will remind readers of "Clan of the Cave Bear." As such, die-hard fans of Jean Auel's works will enjoy this tale. The story line provides much insight into known prehistory while supplemented with theories to fill the gap. However, Agon and Eena (Adam and Eve?) work as characters when they use their weapons of choice or turn spiritual. When they come together, they act more like modern couples rather than Cro-Magnon man (and woman). Still, for those who relish prehistorically set tales, John R. Dann's novel is the right stuff.

Harriet Klausner
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
a little bit disappointing 23 Jun. 2001
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Not quite uo to the standards of Jean Auel (WHEN is she ever going to write another?) or "Childen of the Ice". Too much emphasis on the supernatural, and the couple seems awfully monern for Cro-Magnons in their attitude to monogamy. But, all in all, not a bad read.
3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Had Potential, but Very Disappointing 17 July 2002
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The story line had so much potential but was a jerky, choppy, rush through a dozen story lines. Too bad the author did not take time to explore each character and their story line more thoroughly. It was unbelievable and unrealistic right from the beginning for the female, and I'm sure, male readers. For the heroine to have been brutally raped within the first few pages then enjoying fantastic sex with her "soul mate" within hours made me want to puke. I continued to read the book hoping that it would have some redeeming qualities and due to the fact I was stuck at the airport. Otherwise I would have fed it to the closest trashcan. Folks don't waste your time or money. Save it for authors like Sarabande, Cockrell, Harrison, O'Neal and Gear.
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