THE STONE ARROW by Richard Herley

THE STONE ARROW

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Grisly heroic Briton adventure from the year 5,000 B.C., with a heavy accent on tools and housing basic to the New Stone Age. Tagart is the young head of a nomadic hunting tribe which is attacked in the night by a big agricultural commune and slaughtered to the last man. Tagart sees his own son speared and his wife raped to death. Wounded, he recovers downstream and vows to revenge his family and village by killing the entire population of farmers in the fort of Burh. By various lures he entraps farmer after farmer to his death. At one point he constructs a deadfall with poisoned stakes in it; later he lays a path with a spring noose for drawing a man 70 feet into the air, then dropping him; he also weakens a vine bridge across a gorge so that several men fall to their deaths when a support is dislodged; and cleverest of all--he steals a cub from the den of some gigantic bears and hides the cub's body in the home of the village leader, leading the bears to descend on the village, killing many. Eventually captured, Tagart is put to work in a flint mine, but he escapes in time to observe the last of the villagers dying in their mind-expanding mushroom ceremony; he has substituted poisonous mushrooms for the psychedelic ones. Revenge, Stone-Age style--gruesome and quite anthropologically convincing.

Pub Date: Feb. 3rd, 1978
ISBN: 0000824410
Publisher: St. Martin's