1. Where does the novel begin?
The novel begins in 180 AD in the steppe in the land that would become Russia, where we meet the villagers in Lebed's tribe, and the Alans who are warriors.
2. Describe the lifestyles of Lebed and her people.
Lebed and her people are migratory hunters and small-scale agriculturalists who live in village that does not have much communication with the world beyond its immediate vicinity. They are surrounded by nature, and not very much in control of it, and they are subject to the raiding parties of bands of warriors. There is nothing like a centralized government yet.
3. Who has the most power in this earliest chapter?
The power in this chapter resides with the Alans, who are a powerful band of warriors. Villagers like Lebed are afraid of them, although there is some promise in the possibility that Kiy and other children might be raised among the Alans.
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