The Seed of Mankind
Sabrina James Riley
Published: 25th November, 2012
The Sumerians were a richly cultured civilization that thrived in Mesopotamia – the land between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers in modern-day Iraq – for thousands of years.
Among their other remarkable feats, the Sumerians had a deep, organized religion that included an entire pantheon of gods and goddesses that built the foundation for aspects of modern day religion.
What if some of the most commonly known stories of our past were written by the wrong person?
Zenuah is a Sumerian man who, after learning to survive in the rough Outer Lands with the others exiled from the great city-state of Sirpag (Shuruppak),has to make a choice.
Either prove to his people that their gods aren’t who they say they are, or let them die.
With the help of his childhood friend, a whole family of allies, a powerful woman who steals his heart, and an intelligent magpie, Zenuah must stand up for what is right, no matter what it may cost him.
What I Liked: I found that this story was different from what I’ve been reading by far, yet it was amazing! I’ve never really learned all that much about the Sumerian people, and so I wasn’t familiar with much of what was said in the book about the clay tablet at the beginning. The novel itself is engaging and interesting, the characters were interesting. Zenuah, one of our main characters, is a man who has basically been living in poverty in a place called the Outer Lands because of his father’s drunken behavior since he was a young child. Zenuah is a man of honor and doesn’t like charity, something we learn quickly with meeting him. Aiya, our other main character, is a girl who has been shunned her entire life because of her Asnu, abilities her people the En’a have. Aiya is an important member of her village being the daughter of an Elder there. Zenuah is a man who has his own beliefs, and we see him challenge the way of life that his fellow people of Sirpag follow, and we see him come into his own after fleeing the Outer Lands after a large incident he causes. The minor characters introduced from Aiya’s father and two brothers to Zenuah’s friends were all different in a sense, and Sheom (Aiya’s brother) was a character who ends up surprising us more than once by the end of the book.
What I didn’t like: I felt the book was rushed in some places, that it advanced too quickly when something important was happening but the less action-y parts were longer and more descriptive. I can’t really comment of the occasional errors within the book that I found as I had an ARC edition to read for this blog tour. Also, I lost perception of time at one point and I’m not sure if it was due to my reading or that the book jumped that much when Zenuah walks with Aiya back to her city with her before she’s discovered. I can’t tell if I was reading it wrong or it just skipped too hard for me.
Overall Review: Zenuah and Aiya were both good characters who I felt were a little less rounded that I would have liked, but with how long we know them I felt that it was sufficient character development and reveal for them. Some minor errors I felt that the book had are easily fixed, and the plot overall was really well done. It’s an interesting story in it’s own right, it also seems to parallel the story in the Bible of Noah’s Ark with several differences to make it its own and follow the stone tablet in a sense. I love the spin this book puts on the story, and I loved the setting. The wording gave vivid descriptions and I could see the story as I was reading. The characters were easy to remember and I didn’t mix them up when we had a crowd of them together either.
Recommend?: Yes! The Seed of Mankind is a very interesting tale of two young people trying to save the lives of many and tells us a bit about what life in Sumeria may have been like during the time of this story. The characters are interesting and I loved learning about the culture of these people, I definitely recommend this as a nice non-fiction sorta reference for Sumerians.
My Rating: 4.3/5
About the Author:
I’ve been writing stories for as long as I can remember; I still have a few stories I wrote in crayon on construction paper that I had stapled together to make a book that my mother saved for me.
Luckily, I’ve come a long way from crayons and construction paper, and have been able to type up stories almost as fast as my mind can create them.
I’m also an insanely avid reader, and along with all the award winning literature and classics on my shelf, I also have a penchant for the stories of other Indie authors…some of my all-time favorite books were self-published, and I believe that the ability to self-publish is one of the best things to happen to the world.
Can you imagine all the great stories we’d probably not have access to?
I live in Florida with my family, which includes but is not limited to: a pre-teen girl, a feisty just-on-the-brink-of-walking baby, and a 14 year old cattle dog who still thinks she is a puppy.
I’m always excited to hear from readers or other authors.
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Review by Iris