An evocative tale of tribal life as it used to be, set in the hills of Southeastern Africa. Anta, 15, and his companions spend their days herding cattle and indulging in the last carefree pleasures of adolescence. Anta is the son of the great chief Khwane, and so must assume responsibilities beyond those of the other boys. Much of the story centers around the ways in which Anta's father prepares the boy for the duties that lie ahead. Anta undergoes the rites that initiate him into manhood, and he passes his first test in acting as a man when he vanquishes his jealous half-brother. This coming-of-age story is a tribute to a vanished way of life. The language is fluid and stately, and the descriptions of tribal life will capture readers' imaginations, though more historical background in the introduction would have been of interest. The author, who lived and worked in Africa, treats her subjects with respect and affection. A pronunciation guide to African names is included.