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4.7 out of 5 stars
65
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 8 May 2017
I came to this Michelle Paver series late, years after reading the award-winning ‘Chronicles of Ancient Darkness’ series which starts with the wonderful ‘Wolf Brothe’r. Doubtful that any character could be as admirable as Torak, it was a joy to read about Hylas who, like Torak, is an outsider.
‘The Outsiders’ starts at a run from the first page and doesn’t slow up. Hylas has been attacked, his dog is dead, his sister missing and a fellow goatherd killed. And the killers are after him. Adrift at sea, disorientated, Hylas fears he must die. And then there follows a glorious section about dolphins. I won’t give away any more of the plot. The narrative is a shape familiar from ‘Wolf Brother’ - wild boy in trouble, on the run, not sure who is friend or foe, sets off on a quest where he makes new alliances – but that doesn’t mean this is not an entertaining read with new characters, a new setting, and different myths and gods.
Michelle Paver’s books for children and young adults are set in mystical places but are based on solid research about the way our ancestors lived and survived in wild lands, the animals they hunted, the gods they worshipped and the monsters they feared. ‘The Outsiders’ is set in the Mediterranean in the Bronze Age.
All the outdoors things inaccessible to today’s children – unsupervised by adults, expected to be self-sufficient at the age of twelve, adventuring to unfamiliar places, making a den, lighting a fire, navigating, foraging, analysing geography, weather and threats. Her child characters have respect for their world, they are brave, adventurous and learn quickly from their mistakes. If they don't, they will die: these are not gentle stories but they are a preparation for the real world where children must learn for themselves how to survive.
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on 10 April 2017
I love her deceptively simple style of writing.
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on 13 June 2017
great author
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on 11 April 2013
As usual a very well written, exciting, excellent book. More please. I loved the descriptions. When is the next one?
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on 29 August 2012
I'm a huge fan of Michelle Paver and I loved her Chronicles of Ancient Darkness series. I was therefore massively excited to have an opportunity to review the first book in her brand new series 'Gods and Warriors'.

The story is set during the Bronze Age and features an unlikely hero called Hylas, a twelve year old boy who finds himself being hunted down by rebels at the start of the book. The beginning is fast paced and incredibly thrilling as Hylas manages to escape but finds himself separated from his younger sister Issi and out in the world on his own.

I thought the setting for the story was wonderful. Michelle Paver always does such thorough and meticulous research and this pays off with fantastically precise details of Hylas's world. I found the beliefs of the people of the Bronze Age hugely interesting and enjoyed reading about their connections to the spirits and their rituals in worshipping a greater power. The descriptions of all the places that Hylas visits in the book are rich and detailed which made them easy to imagine as I was reading.

There are lots of other great characters in the book too, including Pirra who wants to experience freedom but is destined for a marriage she does not want. Her path eventually crosses with that of Hylas as they each face personal struggles.

One of my favourite things about Paver's books is the way she depicts the relationship between people and animals. as well as the chapters from Hylas's point of view, there are also the ones seen through the eyes of the dolphin that comes to his rescue. From the dolphin is conveyed a sense of the vastness and beauty of the ocean and it's hidden depths. Although animal and boy, the two share a special bond which runs extremely deep.

'Gods and Warriors' is a brilliantly written opening to what promises to be an epic adventure. Paver is definitely back even better than ever. This is the first in a five book series, the next of which will be published in 2013, so I'm looking forward immensely to following Hylas on the next stage of his journey.
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on 24 May 2013
The relationship between Hylss and Spirit is a rehash of Total and Wolf an the destiny fate strand is also similar but we'll written.
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This is the first offering, from what is to be a five-part series that is a mixing of magic with ritual from Michelle Paver. Her new series of books tells the narrative of Hylas, a 12-year-old goatherd, whose adventures take him to Ancient Crete and Ancient Egypt. He also has a potent ally in the form Pirra; the stubborn daughter of an Egyptian priestess, the scene is set during the Bronze Age. Other characters featured in the plot, of non-human variety are a lion cub, a falcon and a dolphin (called Spirit).
Book 1 shows our hero Hylas given a bronze dagger by a dying slave, though he is both mystified and at loss to understand why the dreaded Crows – the warrior clan of Koronos and rulers of Mycenae – will do anything within their power to retrieve it. Hylas finds himself on the run. On his fraught journey Hylas encounters the daughter of the High Priestess, courageous 12-year-old Pirra, who has boldly branded her own cheek and escaped an arranged marriage joins him on his journey. Soon they find themselves marooned on an Island, and here they are caught up in hostile enmities between Lakonians, Mycenaeans and Minoans. They soon find that they must rely on each if they are to survive, and this growing shared dependency drives the story.

While a number of other fashionable children's authors imagine a future regularly described in dystopian terms, Paver’s work looks backwards more with a positive eye to the past. This book illustrates the quality of Paver's research is impeccable and, reading her intense accounts of Bronze Age life really the narrative to the fore. Paver’s brings in well-rounded and stalwart characters that always seem to do the right thing, helped by generous helping of flukes and a succession of eleventh-hour escapes. The authors’ story telling maybe a blend of fantasy and adventure, however, the background to the narrative is facts based archaeology of the Greek Bronze Age and its belief systems of that time frame. It is this attention to detail - innovative storytelling and clean grammatical style as most of written word is written in short, stabbing sentences. The wide ranging success of the first set of books has assured her popularity and success, in my opinion this series will do as well hence my 5 star rating.
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on 12 November 2012
I bought this book for my daughter because i liked the look of it and the description of the storyline. My daughter love's myth, magic and heroes. I have already read more than 80 pages when i was only supposed to read the full book description on the inside cover!! I like what i am reading and i think my daughter will love this book. I am 100% going to buy more of Michelle Paver's book's. It is very difficult to find a good author so when you do it is good to try and build a nice collection. I would recommend this book for older children and adult's alike!!
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This is the first offering, from what is to be a five-part series that is a mixing of magic with ritual from Michelle Paver. Her new series of books tells the narrative of Hylas, a 12-year-old goatherd, whose adventures take him to Ancient Crete and Ancient Egypt. He also has a potent ally in the form Pirra; the stubborn daughter of an Egyptian priestess, the scene is set during the Bronze Age. Other characters featured in the plot, of non-human variety are a lion cub, a falcon and a dolphin (called Spirit).
Book 1 shows our hero Hylas given a bronze dagger by a dying slave, though he is both mystified and at loss to understand why the dreaded Crows – the warrior clan of Koronos and rulers of Mycenae – will do anything within their power to retrieve it. Hylas finds himself on the run. On his fraught journey Hylas encounters the daughter of the High Priestess, courageous 12-year-old Pirra, who has boldly branded her own cheek and escaped an arranged marriage joins him on his journey. Soon they find themselves marooned on an Island, and here they are caught up in hostile enmities between Lakonians, Mycenaeans and Minoans. They soon find that they must rely on each if they are to survive, and this growing shared dependency drives the story.

While a number of other fashionable children's authors imagine a future regularly described in dystopian terms, Paver’s work looks backwards more with a positive eye to the past. This book illustrates the quality of Paver's research is impeccable and, reading her intense accounts of Bronze Age life really the narrative to the fore. Paver’s brings in well-rounded and stalwart characters that always seem to do the right thing, helped by generous helping of flukes and a succession of eleventh-hour escapes. The authors’ story telling maybe a blend of fantasy and adventure, however, the background to the narrative is facts based archaeology of the Greek Bronze Age and its belief systems of that time frame. It is this attention to detail - innovative storytelling and clean grammatical style as most of written word is written in short, stabbing sentences. The wide ranging success of the first set of books has assured her popularity and success, in my opinion this series will do as well hence my 5 star rating.
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on 17 September 2012
After reading, and absolutely loving, Paver's highly successful Chronicles of Ancient Darkness series, I was dubious about how she could top such a fantastic series of stories, but in Gods and warriors, Paver has created another classic. What is special about this book is not the fact that the author researches her work meticulously, but more the way that she uses that research to weave a rich embroidery of a tale out of it. The story feels both ancient and credible. The interactions between the main characters Hylas and Pirra are fresh and interesting and not just another reincarnation of Torak and Renn.

It was also lovely to see Hylas's relationship with Spirit the dolphin. In some ways, his relationship with Spirit seems almost deeper than that of Torak and Wolf. This story feels different to her previous work, but it still has the Michelle Paver hallmark of excellent, exciting, involved and quality storytelling. In two words, its: simply beautiful!
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