I'm trying to find the name of a book I read in the early-to-mid '90's, from my school's library (in Canada, should that help). I'm pretty sure it was a young adult novel.
From what I can remember, it involved a youth (I think a boy) becoming disillusioned with his primitive village and its superstitious people, and setting out on a journey, beyond the boundaries of his village (which were marked by metal stakes with coloured stripes or ribbons) into the wilderness beyond. He eventually discovers a cave, which turns out to be a man-made structure.
Here is a list of points I remember:
- Rural village, superstitious/fearful elders imposing many taboos on the people, including one against leaving.
- Our protagonist, a young man (or woman) leaves village against elders' wishes, and it is implied that he wouldn't be welcome to return again.
- The village boundary is marked with a metal pole (which is unusual as the villagers don't have metal of it's quality) with a coloured ribbon or stripe on it.
- I have vague memory of the character fighting his way upstream along a cliffside during his journey.