Sunday, February 20, 2022

Izar, The Amesbury Archer: A Pioneer Metal Smith

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Izar, The Amesbury Archer is an accessible fictionalized narrative of the life of an early bronze age metalworker  based on extant archaeological evidence, written by Michael E. Wills. Released 21st June 2021, it's 250 pages and is available in paperback, audio, and ebook formats. 

This is a very well imagined story based on archaeological evidence discovered in a burial cache in 2002 in Amesbury, near Stonehenge which dates from circa 2300 B.C.E. The author writes a compelling and fascinating story about the possible life and history of the man he calls Izar. Tests performed on the tooth enamel of the actual skeleton support an origin in the Alps, and the author skillfully weaves a story which explains the physical characteristics (deformed and missing knee, tooth enamel showing a birthplace and early childhood in central European Alpine region, and the artifacts he was buried with) alongside an entertaining and plausible story. 

The language is simple and direct and would be appropriate for older middle grade kids through teenagers. This would make a superlative selection for public or school library acquisition, library reading groups or classroom reading circles, as well as the home library. Although important to remember that it's a fiction account, it does a very good job of explaining the physical realities of the gravesite, skeleton, and grave goods found in 2002. The book also includes a number of photographs and maps including a photo recreation of the burial site with artifacts in situ.

Five stars. 

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.

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