Review taken from my blog, The Haunting of Orchid Forsythia
Dael and the Painted People is the third book in the Zan-Gah series (See links below for my thoughts on the first two books).
The one thing I've noticed with each successive Zan-Gah book is that Mr. Shickman's writing just keeps on getting better, along with his ability to just pull me right into the story and the characters struggles in such a vibrantly harsh landscape.
What makes Dael and the Painted People such a great read is how the well the author pulls you into the conflict that rages within Dael and his struggle to come to peace with himself and what he has done. There have been very few characters whose plight has so caught my attention as Dael's did.
I know that in my reviews for the first to Zan-Gah books I said how much I liked Zan as a character, but after reading Dael and the Painted People came to the realization that I prefer Dael over Zan. The reason for this is after going through some really rough patches (being kidnapped as a child, going berserk, and losing his wife and child) and how by the end of the book he through the kindness of Sparrow and the Children of the Earth. His struggle to move on was just written so well.
As for Sparrow, I thought she was an okay character. Don't get me wrong I liked her, especially with how she helped Dael to overcome his past. For the time that the book is set she's great character, but out of the era she would most likely come off as weak.
While Dael and the Painted People has an incredibly interesting plot and characters, my absolute favorite thing about this book would have to be Mr. Shickman's writing. His writing and storytelling is just so vivid that it pulls you in from the very first page. I was going to read just one more chapter before calling it a night, but I just could not put it down because I was so absorbed in what was happening.
I wouldn't necessarily call this my least favorite part of the book, just the part that I had the most trouble getting into; I found it at times just a little hard to get into reading about the rituals the Children of the Earth participated in. It's not that they weren't well written or anything, just a little odd.
Final Verdict: Dael and the Painted People could not put it down! Such a great follow up to the first two books.
Dael and the Painted People earns 5 out of 5 pineapples.