IN THE WILDS of southeastern Africa more than half a million years ago sits the village of Kura, a matriarchal society of Homo erectus. Snap—a young, passionate woman—is destined to lead her people, and this year she must select a mate for the first time. As the Bonding ceremony approaches, Snap’s future remains unknown. Will she choose someone different each year, or will she find one mate she wants to pick over and over again, like her mother, Whistle, the next leader of Kura? But when Whistle’s mate doesn’t return, Whistle chooses a stranger with ideas more dangerous than the lions that kill with a single slash.
Snap challenges the stranger’s growing power one too many times and is brutally cast out to survive on her own or perish. Abandoned and alone, she risks her life—and the future of her people—to stand up against an unthinkable evil. Unknown to her, the same danger threatens other villages as well. Soon, Snap and a new band of outcasts will face a force more terrifying—and deadly—than any of prehistoric Africa’s natural threats.
Both imaginative and believable, Daughter of Kura brings to life an ancient and untamed world. Austin has created an unforgettable heroine who comes of age in a thrilling tale of courage, loyalty, and passion.
In Kura, a prehistoric village of women, peace and stability reign under the rule of the tribal Mother. The granddaughter of the current Mother, Snap, is about to undergo her first Bonding ritual, when the women choose mates. Bapoto, a strange man with unfamiliar spiritual ideas, arrives and begins to accumulate power, shifting the society away from its matriarchal structure. Snap resists and is driven from the village. Desperate and pregnant, she must find the wisdom and courage to save her village from Bapoto's threat. Austin, a former doctor with a serious passion for paleoanthropology, brings exhaustive research and strong writing to her debut. She accomplishes an extremely difficult task to get readers to understand a community that resembles both human and animal societies, but the world she depicts is so alien that at times it's difficult to relate to. Still, this is a remarkable first effort, and Snap and her companions will easily engage readers.