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Survival of the Fittest (the Crossroads Trilogy Book 1) Kindle Edition
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- File Size : 3682 KB
- Publication Date : March 6, 2019
- Print Length : 313 pages
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Publisher : Structured Learning LLC (March 6, 2019)
- Language: : English
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- ASIN : B07NKM58GB
- Enhanced Typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Simultaneous Device Usage : Unlimited
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #27,848 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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The contest is bittersweet to Xhosa, for the other challenger is Nightshade, a warrior she sees as a possible pairmate. It’s a brutal challenge, testing any human’s strength, cunning, and agility. In the end, she and Nightshade save each other, but Nightshade cedes the leadership to Xhosa.
However, she becomes leader at a troubled time. A different form of prehistoric man is moving in, one that vocalizes more than they should and seems to have no desire to share the land. They want nothing more than to drive Xhosa and her people away, or failing that, to kill them.
A book such as this stands or falls on its descriptive powers, and the descriptions in this book are sharp and vivid. For example: “Broad-winged white-bellied birds screeched as they swooped in search of food, and a cacophany of insects chirruped their displeasure at her intrusion. A stone’s throw away, a hippo played, heaving its great bulk out of the water, mouth gaping, snorting and grunting, before sinking beneath the surface.”
Survival of the Fittest is set at a slightly later date and features Xhosa, the unusually adaptable and innovative daughter of the leader of a large group called "the People". Xhosa has been allowed to learn to use weapons and hunt with the warriors of the group and has a strong relationship with Nightshade, a giant of young warrior, who is her father's Lead Warrior at the commencement of the story. Early in the story, a hunting group including Xhosa's father, Xhosa herself and Nightshade are attacked by a savage group of a different people called "the Others" and Xhosa's father is killed during the resulting skirmish. These leads to a battle for leadership between Xhosa and Nightshade which results in a lot of unresolved issues and conflicts between the pair.
The Others are more advanced that the People and have sharp stone tipped spears which fly much further than the People's heavier and less innovative weapons. It soon becomes apparent that the People are in grave danger from the threat posed by the Others who covet their land, which is rich and desirable. Xhosa wants to leave and search for a new home for the People, following the cairns left by her father when he made a journey years before. Nightshare wants to stay and fight. Before a decision is made, the dynamics of the People change due to the arrival of another group, led by Pan-do and his young and unusual daughter, Lyta.
This book is well researched and every sentence demonstrates the author's excellent knowledge of her subject and this time period. The story is similar in some respects to the Earth Children series but I find it more realistic and I don't have to suspend my belief nearly as much while reading this book.
The characters in this new story are engaging and interesting. Xhosa is an unusual woman of high intellect and great physical strength. Her father has encouraged her to follow a different path from the other women of the tribe and learn to fight and lead like a man. Xhosa is driven by her need to do the best she can for her people and ensure the survival of the tribe. She realises that this goal means she has to be prepared to uproot the group from their current home and strike out in search of a new home. She also knows that the journey will not be easy and that many will be sacrificed along the way. Xhosa is a good leader and is prepared to take the necessary steps to do this.
Nightshade is a conflicted personality. He comes across as loyal, in many ways, to Xhosa but also jealous of her position within the tribe and irritated by her leadership methods and decisions. I never felt comfortable that Nightshade was truly behind Xhosa and felt she should be wary of him which, of course, she isn't.
Pan-do was my favourite character in the book. He is the perfect leader, binding the group together and providing for distraction and light relief when needed to prevent the group from becoming overwhelmed and despairing. He is also cunning and clever and saves Xhosa, Nightshade and the People from certain death on more than one occasion. Pan-do is open minded and is devoted to his daughter who is a bit of a psychic and has visions. This quality of Pan-do's extends to other people within the tribe who have unusual insight.
This book will appeal to readers who enjoy a well-researched and believable historical novel with a solid plot and well developed and interesting characters.