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The Horse Painters by Peter Stockwell

The Horse Painters

by Peter Stockwell

136 pages
Two Ice Age children fight for life and their family

Paperback $13.95   + $5.95 shipping & handling (USA)
(add $2.00 S&H per additional copy)
Category: Fiction:Young Adult
(requires Adobe Reader)
About the Book
WINNER - 2009 Premier Book Award for Best Children's Fiction!

Umalik and Aku are two boys living in the Ice Age. Theirs is a primitive society in which survival depends entirely on an ability to hunt. Strong elements of magic are threaded throughout this culture, and one of the central beliefs is that a clan’s success in hunting is dependent upon a special artistic gift possessed by very few individuals. Those individuals are able to commune with animals in a way others cannot, and by painting images of the animals they wish to hunt, they can draw game into the open and enable their families to survive.

Umalik’s sister Aariak has this gift, and so their family has always been able to sustain itself. Yet tragedy strikes when a neighbouring youth, Uirngut, becomes jealous of Aariak’s skill and murders her in her sleep. With this murder, Aariak’s gift is passed on to Uirngut, her killer. Uirngut flees, and Umalik’s family is faced with the prospect of starvation.

The only way Aariak’s gift and spirit can be regained, Umalik’s grandfather tells him, is if a member of their family pursues Uirngut and kills him in turn. Umalik, as the oldest surviving child must carry out this duty. The next morning he sets out alone, with his reluctant and erratic pet Wolf, in pursuit of his sister’s killer.


Peter Stockwell has written a gripping adventure, set in a past so distant that most of us don’t really believe in it, or think that it could have been populated by recognisable humans. The reader is swept along by the action, but also intrigued by the distinct and touching characters who emerge from the mists, along with the mammoths and buffalo. I enjoyed this book very much and I am sure young readers will too.
- Frances Thomas, Award winning author of Finding Minerva.
I enjoyed The Horse Painters enormously. It's a vivid recreation of the Ice Age pitched within a gripping narrative: the action starts, literally, on the very first page and never lets up. Young readers will love it.
- Herbie Brennan, Best Selling author of 'Faerie Wars'
I was very pleased with this book. It had a great storyline, characters that touched on both sides from good to evil, and some that were quite colorful, and an ending that promised more adventures in the future. I believe young readers will find themselves plunging headlong into this read and not come up for air until they travel the entire road. Well done.
- Shirley Johnson/Senior Reviewer, MidWest Book Review
A grand adventure set in the exciting background of Ice Age Europe.
- Joan Wolf, Author. 'Daughter of the Red Deer'



About the Author
Peter Stockwell is a writer, walker and naturalist. His stories for both adults and children have been published widely and read on National Radio. The Horse Painters, his first novel, was inspired by his knowledge and love of the arctic, its wildlife and its people.



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