The epic story of how primitive humans, without words or machines, set in motion civilization’s long, winding journey to the present.
Thirty thousand years ago, in the heart of the African continent and in the shadow of Mount Kilimanjaro, lived the Ibandi, who for generations nurtured their ancient traditions, and met survival’ s daily struggle with quiet faith in their gods. T’Cori, an abandoned girl, and Frog Hopping, a boy possessing a gift that is also a curse, are two of the Ibandi’s chosen ones. Though they live in different encampments, Frog and T’Cori are linked through the mysterious medicine woman known as Stillshadow, who has sensed in them a destiny apart from others’.
Through the years, and on their separate paths, T’Cori’s and Frog’s fates entwine as an inevitable disaster approaches from the south—from the very god they worship. For as long as there have been mountain, sky, and savannah, there has been a home for the Ibandi. Now, in the face of an enemy beyond anything spoken of even in legend, they must ask their god face-to-face: Do we remain or do we depart?
Hugo Award nominee Barnes embellishes his 20th novel with folklore, spiritualism and impressive atmospheric detail. In prehistory, the Ibandi people thrive beneath the immense shadows of Great Sky Mountain Mount Kilimanjaro. Two youths, Frog Hopping, a boy from the Inner Boma clan, and T'Cori, a girl from the Dream Dancer group, without much parental care miraculously blossom; T'Cori is reared by mystical visionary Stillshadow, while Frog is educated by his Uncle Snake, harnessing his sexuality, hunting ability and emerging powers of premonition. Minor intra-tribe squabbling becomes the least of their worries as the vicious Mt*tk invade their territory, assaulting and enslaving T'Cori and her sister Dream Dancers. As the hostility mounts into warfare, it's up to Frog and T'Cori to scale the vast and treacherous heights of Great Sky to appeal to the ominous, omnipotent Father Mountain to save their line from obliteration. While Barnes's narrative stalls and sputters in spots, it's daringly epic in scope and written with an undeniably rich appreciation for historical legend and human ties. (On sale June 27)