Outcasts of Skagaray

Title: Outcasts Of Skagaray
Author: Andrew Clarke
Primary Audience/age group: 13+
Genre: Fantasy
# Of pages: 240
Publisher: VMI Publishing
Year of Release: 2006
Part of a Series? No
Rating: 3 (View Scale)
Recommend? Yes!

Description: The world of Skagaray is dark and bleak but there is the possibility of beauty and goodness too. The people of Skagaray respect strength, and hardness, and make gods in their own image to please themselves. They reject those they consider weak, or unworthy, and make outcasts of them. But one among them rejects their cruelty, and will not take part in the brutality they call their Proving. This is Australian Andrew Clarkes first novel.

Review: Outcasts of Skagaray started out slow, it took me about 50 pages to get into the book, but once I did, it was a fun, exciting read. This is a story about change. Tarran, the main character had never seen a way of life that was not savage and harsh. But something inside him was sure that people could be different. He musters up the courage to leave Skagaray, where only the strong are honored and the weak are left to die. Once he is an Outcast his fear of the Skagaray ways turns to anger, which eventually yields to love. A foreigner, Ambrand returns to the area and tells Tarran about the One True God, who was killed but got up from the dead. This God does not murder the weak, He teaches that love is stronger than hate. Tarran and Ambrand lead the fight against the evil forces at work in Skagaray. They seek to spread the news that there is a different way to live, a better way, where the citizens are free from the laws of hate, killing, slavery and shame.
I really liked Tarran and rooted for him the entire story. I had a hard time telling many of the characters apart/keeping them straight – I think because they had such different names. The story was about clear good versus evil and how every person must choose to which side they belong.

Rating: 3, for violent/confrontational situations


Positive: Tarran was a great character – he knew that the life he was living was wrong, and left that life. He helped others leave their way of life and once he knew the Truth, he shared that with everyone he could.

Spiritual Elements: As you can read in my review, the people of Skagaray must choose between good and evil. Do they continue to worship the Kirkril as they have been taught their whole lives – or the One True God who they just learned about?
Violence: I found the story to be quite violent. There arent any gory details of blood and guts – but just many references to their ways as being slayers, hunters, killers. It is the will of the Skagaray gods that the strong shall live by killing. Life is a battle and you are to be warriors. The mark of the warrior is blood, the destruction of enemies, prey taken, the defeat of another. The lives you take enlarge you.Language: NoneSexual Content: None

Other: Some of the evil elders drank wine.

Recommendation: I would recommend this book to boys (and girls) who like this genre, ages 13+. I know my son will enjoy it! I feel like it is too violent for children under 13

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