Inspired by the 1947 discovery of a platform on which a small tribe, probably the only people in Yorkshire, spent ten winters about 9000 years ago, this is the carefully substantiated story of a primitive community which an attempted mutiny splits into two hostile groups. With only two or three adult hunters in each band the people skirmish, suffer hard times, then come together to fight off a far larger band of invaders, fair and ferocious ""strange men with strange things."" Essentially this is Morg's story -- how he resists the mutiny, becomes a hunter prematurely and a true man (by killing his bear) at last -- but parts are also seen from the viewpoint of Gyre, his vindictive rival in the other faction, and the girl Ela who runs away from the rebels to be with Morg. The values, characterizations and interpretations are unswervingly traditional, and the closing hint of cyclical history, while perhaps an attempt to add dimension, instead reduces the concept to the level of device. But Swindells does 'convincingly recreate the culture both in detail and in feeling.