Review sponsored* by Mary Settegast
The Children’s Book Review | March 5, 2019
Written by Mary Settegast
Age Range: 12 and up (young adult)
Hardcover: 313 pages
Publisher: Rotenberg Press
What to expect: Historical Fiction, Familial Connection, Nature
In The Bear, The Bull and the Child of Light – A Prehistoric Novel readers are transported into the very early years of the region that would now be considered Turkey. This fast-paced, yet gently told tale, is deeply rooted in historical references and customs from the time around 6350 BC. It centers on a boy named Tulirane, or Tuli, a child who experiences a fascinating series of events that quickly change the course of his life.
Tuli starts off by describing his life at 7 years old when he was living with his mother, grandparents, and extended family in the caves of what would now be central-eastern Turkey. His life had a steady rhythm that was shaken up during a terribly barren and starved winter, when he found himself in a terrifying—yet somehow lucky—situation with a bear. From that point, Tuli’s life begins to evolve in exciting and confusing ways.
The story continues as Tuli finds himself in new surroundings, an unfamiliar way of life, and a quest that is equally tragic and magnificent. He demonstrates courage, devotion, and a wisdom far surpassing his years as he navigates a world that he never would have even considered in his days back at his cave.
This novel is beautifully written by Mary Settegast. It intertwines the historical elements of the era while telling a lovely story of familial connection. Tuli’s deep connection to the earth and the way he describes the customs in his life create a vivid picture that will delight readers both young and old. The powerful imagery crafted by Settegast takes readers quite literally into the caves, valleys, and marshes of the region, bringing the many sights, sounds, smells and textures vividly into focus.
The Bear, The Bull and the Child of Light – A Prehistoric Novel would be well-suited for the historical fiction lover, anyone with an interest in pre-historic Levantine, Byzantine, or Turkish history, and lovers of earth-rooted spirituality. This beautifully written book will inspire those that enjoy an adventurous tale led by a strong, young character.
About the Author
Born in Houston, educated at Berkeley and Columbia, Mary Settegast did not begin writing until she was in her forties, at which time she became fascinated by the site of Catalhoyuk and moved to England to study with the late James Mellaart, the original excavator of the site. After writing several non-fiction books, she has now created a fictionalized imagination of how life itself was lived in 6300 BC, as new excavation techniques are everywhere overturning our assumptions about both foragers and settlers in this early time.
Review written by Leah Sylvan. Dedicated Reviews allow authors and illustrators to gain prompt visibility for their work. Ben Woodard sponsored* this non-biased review of “The Staircase Of Fire.” Learn more about getting a book review …