There is Thorn, a shaman himself. He lives to pass down his wisdom and his stories — to teach those who would follow in his footsteps.
There is Heather, the healer who, in many ways, holds the clan together.
There is Elga, an outsider and the bringer of change.
And then there is Loon, the next shaman, who is determined to find his own path. But in a world so treacherous, that journey is never simple — and where it may lead is never certain.
SHAMAN is a powerful, thrilling and heartbreaking story of one young man’s journey into adulthood — and an awe-inspiring vision of how we lived thirty thousand years ago.
*Starred Review*Shaman follows Loon from his experience on a late-winter shaman’s journey of skill and endurance to his true adulthood. The wander that begins the story is the beginning of his passage into manhood, and a shaman’s trial. Loon doesn’t want to be a shaman, at least not in the way his tribe’s shaman is, with magic and old stories. He does like the painting. In this prehistoric world, life is genuinely focused on survival, and on the flow of seasons—and so there is often a sense of fear, but there’s plenty of time for humor as well. The novel does generally succeed in its ambitious scope. It is more uneven when it comes to the viewpoint character—Loon is, after all, a 14-year-old boy. It is occasionally tiresome to be subjected to the inner workings of a fictional teenage boy, but aside from that, this novel bears the markings of Robinson’s consummate skill with a sort of anthropological fiction. Robinson’s prose is transparent, capable of sustaining massive plots, and a certain amount of troublesome characterization can be forgiven in the face of spectacular world building.–Regina Schroeder