(from Adlaine, age 11)
You’ve asked an honest question. To me, but I think not to you, the novel ends with a profound achievement: Dar slowly conquers his problems of lack of confidence and loneliness. The book traces his difficulties and his triumphs. He finds the strength to help Bowan through his initiation ceremony and begins a friendship with him. He goes up a steep cliff to play a part in the rescue of his difficult uncle. He makes a frightening trip alone to Toreg’s clan to see if he can trade his sunstone for an amazing spearthrower. He turns down the invitation to live in Toreg’s clan and the opportunity to be trained by Seelag to become a skilled carver because he feels he has an obligation to his beloved grandmother who saved his life whe he was an infant. But the action that took the most courage was honestly confronting his uncle in the Pine Forest at the end of the book. The conversation was difficult,, but ends in a better understanding on both sides, which is important for them both and the entire clan as a unit. An important line at the end is: “The two MEN headed for home.” Hope this helps, Adlaine!