It's a couple of generations after the end of Daughter of the Red Deer (1991), Wolf's first sally into prehistory, when this sequel gets into gear; but we're still talking plenty long ago, 13,000 years or so, during the time of Cro-Magnon man--he of the cave paintings in the south of France. And, as before, we're back in the matrilineal Tribe of the Red Deer, where the Mistress's disfavored son, Ronan, champs at the bit for power and responsibility, only to be set up as a rapist by his lustful sister, Morna. Mistress Arika, who sees Ronan's charisma as a threat to her tribe's female hegemony, sides with Morna and drives him out. So he strikes off into the Pyrenees, where he forms a new tribe composed of other outcasts like himself, and with the help of his new wife, Nel, tames wild horses. And it's a good thing, since all of the Kindred tribes of the region are about to be harried by invaders who come from the northern tundras and are known as the Horsemasters. While Ronan organizes the Kindred into a fighting force, Wolf introduces us to more prehistoric types--the cave painter, Thorn; Siguna, captured daughter of the Horsemaster chief; and Culen, the squalling babe Nel and Ronan take in when Morna dies in childbirth. Wolf gives the tale a happy conclusion, even though, as everyone knows, the thundering hordes from the north eventually did murder, plunder, and pillage the gentler folk from the south. Accomplished, credible, but not quite as thematically clever as the series' first book.