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The Stone Arrow (The Pagans Book 1)
 
 

The Stone Arrow (The Pagans Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

Richard Herley
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: £0.00 includes free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet

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Product Description

Product Description

Southern England, 3000 BC. Incomers, bringing agriculture from mainland Europe, are wrecking the virgin forests with slash-and-burn. The ancient territories and way of life of the native, nomadic hunter-gatherers, unchanged for millennia, are under threat.

Political rivalry inside the village of Burh, and the farmers’ superstitions, result in an attack on a nomad tribe in its nearby summer camp.

Tagart, the heir to the chief and at the very peak of his powers, is the only survivor.

The farmers thought they had killed everybody. They could not have made a worse mistake.

“This is a gripping thriller set convincingly in neolithic Sussex. Richard Herley’s first novel is crammed with archaeological detail, but all of it is subordinate to the fast-moving story of Tagart. His wife, child and tribe have been wiped out by a farming village, and we follow his dogged attempts to wreak revenge single-handedly with mixed horror and admiration. In the Stone Age, tribal loyalty is the only morality, and as Herley resurrects this time with such panache, the gruesome bits of Tagart’s vendetta seem justified.”

— Sunday Times

“The natural Darwinian world of which he writes with a blood-soaked passion left me gulping for air. Horridly imaginative, powerful in its refusal to avert its eyes from the results of violence, the book appeals to the blood lust in us all.”

— Glasgow Herald

“It is in every way a remarkable achievement.”

— Anthony Burgess

Tagart’s first objective for his single-handed work of retribution is the fortified village of Burh (in what is now known as the Cuckmere Valley), and the means he uses are more subtle and deadly than any traditional form of attack. This story of his revenge, his subsequent savage enslavement by the new lords of the land and his escape with Segle, the beautiful sister of another captive, introduces a new author of considerable significance. Richard Herley writes with acute sense of place, of wind and weather, of wild life and of the background of Stone Age England when the countryside is in its last virgin state before civilization begins.

Extent: 71,400 words (about 238 conventional pages)

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 329 KB
  • Print Length: 224 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004WH4NU0
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #8,371 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

I was born in England in 1950 and educated at Watford Boys' Grammar School and Sussex University, where my interest in natural history led me to read biology.

My first successful novel was "The Stone Arrow", which was published to critical acclaim in 1978. It subsequently won the Winifred Holtby Memorial Prize, administered by the Royal Society of Literature in London, and was the first in a trilogy. This was followed by "The Penal Colony" (1987), a futuristic thriller that formed the basis of the 1994 movie "No Escape", starring Ray Liotta.

The main difficulty for the author is making his voice heard in the roar of self-promotion. I believe that the work I am producing now is of higher quality than my prize-winning first, and ask you, the reader, to help spread the word by telling your friends if you have enjoyed one of my books.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Should have been a great book, but it missed 21 Mar 2006
Format:Hardcover
This book had marvelous potential, but the author somehow failed to produce. The basic story is one of a barbarian named Tagart, whose tribe is annihilated by a group of "civilized" farmers. In the background lurks a more advanced civilization known as the Flint Lords.

The barbarian vs. society angle is well written (and rather gruesome), worthy of any Conan story. However, the author does not give the reader the feel of his unique setting. The story could be set in Neolithic Britain or Hyperboria, with no noticeable changes to the story.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Should have been a great book, but it missed 1 July 2005
Format:Paperback
This book had marvelous potential, but the author somehow failed to produce. The basic story is one of a barbarian named Tagart, whose tribe is annihilated by a group of "civilized" farmers. In the background lurks a more advanced civilization known as the Flint Lords.
The barbarian vs. society angle is well written (and rather gruesome), worthy of any Conan story. However, the author does not give the reader the feel of his unique setting. The story could be set in Neolithic Britain or Hyperboria, with no noticeable changes to the story.
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4.0 out of 5 stars An enjoyable read - finished at 93% though. 19 Nov 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Tagart is a hunter/nomad who sets out to revenge the killing of his entire tribe, including
his young son, by farmer villagers.

I was a bit confused at first until it became obvious that after the first chapter or so, it
was a flashback to the killings, and even another flashback to the leader of the village
before the raid on the nomads was set in motion. It would have helped if it said
"2 weeks before", etc.

However, once into the book I found it a good read. Some might find the revenge a bit gruesome,
but my sympathy was with Tagart! Before he can complete his task of wiping out the village, single-handed
or die in the attempt, something happens (no spoilers!).

The book ends at 93% which took me by surprise and I could have done with another chapter or two.
Instead there were excerpts and reviews of the author's other books. I would read more by this author.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing 24 April 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Set in the time when hunter gathers were interacting with the first farmers,but it might as well have been the 1980s or any other time. The mind set of the people is very sketchily described, and for the most part is very contemporary. I would have expected an imaginative journey into the prehistoric mind. The plot was fairly engaging.
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3.0 out of 5 stars historical fiction 7 Dec 2014
By charley
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
well written but initially confusing. A good story that keeps the reader interested.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Cracking novel 10 Sep 2014
By Budcus
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I now have all of this author's novels and found all of them to be a cracking read. Highly recommended if you like murder, mystery and suspense. The way the historical aspect is handled almost makes you feel as though you are actually there, the mark of a superb novel. This review will be cut and pasted into all the volumes I have read and i really hope that Mr Herley writes some more
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4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting 11 Aug 2014
By bill
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is set in a period of history, or pre history about which I know nothing at all. The story is fine and kept my attention, but one or two of the details appeared unlikely to me. Stone Age soldiers with armour - maybe, but I just could not envisage that level of organisation. Like I say, not a period I know anything about, I assume the author knows more than me.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars the stone arrow(the pagans) 14 Jan 2012
By R.B.H
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
this book i found almost impossible to put down, to such an extent i bought the second one before the end of this one. tagart i found to be just the right side of both believable & supportable without any 21st century gushing sentimentality. i had a mental image of what these times would be like and it appears the author shared my visions. i will purchase as may books by the author as is available. excellent escapism with realism for good measure.
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