This blog is primarily about Leonbergers and our late Leonberger Bronco as well as the book I wrote about him and his dog friends. However, sometimes I review other Leonberger books and on occasion other great books. This time I am reviewing Born in a Treacherous Time, the first book in the Dawn of Humanity series – March 8, 2019, by Jacqui Murray. This paperback is 381 pages, ISBN 978-1942101451, item weight 1.23 pounds, dimensions 6 x 0.96 x 9 inches. You can buy it from, for example, Amazon or Barnes and Noble, as a paperback or e-Book. The paperback version is currently $15.99 on Amazon.
This book, “Born in a Treacherous Time” is the story of a Homo Habilis woman, Lucy, who lived 1.8 million years ago in Africa. The book also features a large, loyal, and brave dog “Ump” who reminded me of our large, loyal and brave Leonberger dog Le Bronco von der Löwhenhöhle.
Lucy suffers many great losses, she travels across a great rift, she is very resourceful, she is a huntress and a healer, and she survives many potentially deadly challenges. She interacts with many interesting characters and experiences many harrowing adventures. She is a survivor but a survivor with a good heart. The characters in the book are compelling, and they will touch your heart despite being of a primitive human species. The many action-packed adventures in the book, makes it difficult to put it down.
The depiction of life in the early Quaternary is realistic, which some may have a problem with. The characters in this book hunt and kill, and they are hunted and killed. They don’t eat pizza and hot dogs with relish and mustard. Life back then was brutish, cruel and short and food was raw and whatever you could get. In this book there’s loss, sadness, starvation, violence as well as a lot of adventure. So many of us hide behind our modern comforts. We eat meat without considering the destructive environmental impacts of factory farming or that the animal providing our meal was treated much more inhumanely than any free running animal killed by a hunter. We forget how harsh life used to be. I prefer realistic depictions over Disney like fairy tales.
The same is true for Ump, the friendly and brave prehistoric dog that became one of Lucy’s companions. Their friendship began after Ump’s tragic loss of his family. He did not want to move on but Lucy, having suffered so much great loss herself, encouraged him to move on. Ump was very loving and fiercely protective. Perhaps he carried a Leonberger gene? Fossil records show that prehistoric dogs and hominids came across each other in Africa 1.8 million years ago. Any domestication might have been unlikely but that doesn’t mean the story about Lucy and Ump couldn’t have happened.
Just like some of Jean M Auel’s work was made into a film, I think this book and the rest of the series could be made into a film, or a TV series. There are so many fascinating stories in this book. I should mention that Jean M Auel wrote about a time period about 20,000 years ago towards the end of the last glacial period and it was taking place in Europe. Jacqui Murray is writing about a time period 1.8 million years ago at the beginning of the ice age (Quaternary) and the first glacial periods and it is taking place in Africa. So, the setting is quite different. Like Jean M Auel Jacqui Murray did her research. I highly recommend this thrilling and enlightening book of adventures and I am looking forward to reading the next books in the series.
Finally, I would like to promote my book about Bronco and Leonbergers. It has a lot of color photos, amusing Leonberger stories, and Leonberger information that has been verified and is also based on personal information.
Below is a list of where you can find the book. Click on the links to go to the respective store. However, if your favorite bookstore is not listed below you can search for it using the ISBN or ASIN numbers.
ISBN number for printed edition: 978-0998084954
ASIN number for the e-book edition: B0B5NN32SR