The Eyes of the Leopard

March 31, 2022

Dr. Brian Hayden enters the world of young adult fiction with his newly released novel The Eyes of the Leopard 

 An adventure novel for young readers set in France during the last Ice Age, The Eyes of the Leopard is inspired by archaeologist and anthropologist Dr. Brian Hayden’s lifetime experience in the field studying prehistoric and ethnographic hunter-gatherer societies. With glowing reviews by the Vancouver Sun and by readers alike, we invite everyone to check out this latest publication! For a copy of your own, please visit the Granville Island Publishing website

The Eyes of the Leopard Description

It is the Stone Age of France; a prehistoric era of giant mammoths, painted caves, and fearsome cave lions. Fleeing starvation in their home territory, thirteen-year-old Sev and his family have been grudgingly accepted into the powerful Bear Clan. Yet as his father climbs the ranks of the mysterious group of shamans known as the Lion Lodge, Sev finds himself questioning the strange beliefs of his adopted band. Determined to unravel the secrets of the Lodge and prove his bravery, Sev accepts a dare to enter the Cave of Lions—a forbidden cavern high on the mountain where the shamans of the Lodge commune with powerful spirits.

When Sev’s trespass is revealed by his rival, Bakar, he is forced to make an impossible choice: join the Lodge or be exiled from the Clan—and exile is a potentially fatal sentence in the Ice Age world. Even joining the Lodge is no guarantee of survival, as their deadly politics are reinforced with dangerous tests of loyalty.

A young adult adventure novel, The Eyes of the Leopard is inspired by archaeologist and anthropologist Dr. Brian Hayden’s lifetime experience in the field studying prehistoric and ethnographic hunter-gatherer societies in France, Australia, and North America. Hayden’s expertise brings realistic depth to this classic coming-of-age story, painting Sev’s life of communal hunts, ritual feasting, and spiritual ceremonies “with the vivacity of a graphic novel.”

The story is further enhanced with art by professional archaeological illustrator Eric Carlson, whose work has appeared in the New York Times, PBS NOVA, and the award-winning book Six Hundred Generations: An Archaeological History of Montana, which was named “Best Popular Book” by the Society for American Archaeology in 2020. Acclaimed by other archaeologists as a successful union of scientific work and storytelling, The Eyes of the Leopard provides an excellent introduction for young readers interested in archaeology.

Reader Testimonials

The Eyes of the Leopard is a breathtaking story! A dive into the daily life of a young boy who lived during the Upper Palaeolithic in Western Europe. - Sophie A. de Beaune, Prof. Jean Moulin Lyon 3 Unviersity (France)

The author manages to recreate the world of the Solutreans, their ways of life and of thinking in an entirely believable way. And the book makes for fascinating reading: when I started on it, I could not put it down!  - Jean Clottes, leading archaeologist in documenting Chauvet Cave and Cosquer Cave, author of What is Paleolithic Art

My boys were captivated by the first chapter of The Eyes of The Leopard and begging for more as I read it aloud. The Eyes of the Leopard was a great family read for us to enjoy together.  I imagine this unique story will be read again by my boys on their own as it delighted their imaginations - Serene Watson, homeschooling mother 

I couldn’t put it down and neither could my daughter. The Eyes of the Leopard is a triumph of historical fiction, bringing to life a time rarely written about, with the detail and nuance only an archeologist of Brian Hayden’s caliber could provide.  Don’t miss this read. - Manda Aufochs Gillespie, founder of Folk University and young adult book club leader

I loved the book and the illustrations. I enjoyed it as an adult and want a copy for the kids as well.  Interwoven within the narrative is subtle learning for young and old readers on the geography, ecology, culture, diet and secret societies of his times. - Kirstie Overhill, Physician and mother of three children