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Historical Novel Society reviews: The Dawning: 31,000 BC

The Dawning: 31,000 BC


"A truly fascinating subject, which Mr. Wise handles with evident aplomb."



I recently saw a documentary about the Lagar Vehlo child, a prehistoric skeleton discovered in Portugal twenty or so years ago. What is fascinating about this find is that it is evidently a mix between Neanderthal and Homo sapiens—and that segues rather nicely into Mr. Wise's story set so far into the past the Neanderthals still roamed the world.


Humans have always been wary of strangers, and this rule applies to the past as well, where our very distant ancestors want as little as possible to do with the stocky and fair-skinned people who live such rustic and primitive lives (!). When two young girls are abducted by a party of Neanderthals, their surviving tribesmen vow to rescue them, which proves harder than they thought.


The Neanderthals have a reason for abducting young, potentially fertile, women. Their women rarely conceive, and the Lion Clan has so few children it is evident they have no future unless, somehow, they manage to reverse the trend. Which is why Scar, the leader of the clan, decides to steal away the two girls, knowing full well this may lead to violent retribution. Our young female protagonist, Lada, is to end up torn in two between hate for the man who abducted her but also a growing tenderness for the same man, now that they have a baby together.


Mr. Wise spins a good tale, capably supported by strong descriptive writing and a cast of interesting characters—from the doomed Scar, to Lada and the very young shaman Ejil. And then, of course, there is little Efram, the baby that carries the DNA of both Neanderthal and Homo sapiens—just like that little child discovered in Lagar Vehlo does! A truly fascinating subject, which Mr. Wise handles with evident aplomb.


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Fabulous Five Star Review of The Dawning: 31,000 BC, from Literary Titan.

The Dawning: 31,000 BC by Richard W. Wise is set in prehistoric times, going back 33,000 years. The story is inspired by the age when the Neanderthals clashed with Homo Sapiens on earth in a battle for domination. The battle for supremacy however, in this fiction is between members of the Cro-Magnon tribe and a clan of pale-skinned Neanderthals. When Lada and Tule are unexpectedly kidnapped by unknown tribesmen and the Cro-Magnon tribe is ransacked, Ejil,  the son of the Cro-Magnon tribe must, together with unlikely allies, save his people. Different kinships and families are broken and forged amid the war. The story also features a tale of young-love blooming in a bloody conflict.


Author Richard Wise provides readers with a fascinating take on the past in this prehistoric historical romance novel. He draws inspiration from tales of ancestral people who once roamed the earth and whose extinction is still a subject of different academic debate. The author displays an obvious flair for history gathered through research. His knowledge about the concept can be gleaned from his insight and vivid descriptions of the habits, mannerisms and techniques of ancestral people before the development of the world.


The barbarism of cavemen in premodern times is evident...The Dawning: 31,000 BC was engaging and I reveled in the author's descriptions of the settings. The emphasis on character development certainly makes the story quite fun and immersive to read. Although, a different era, the experience and customs of these ancestral people are not unfamiliar.


I've read many historical romance novels, but none that go this far back in time. This is a fantastic story that will appeal to fans looking for an accurate depiction of prehistoric times and the strife those people faced, or for any reader looking for a thoughtful love story in the midst of it all.

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