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KLIATTA masterful storyteller takes on the history of the world in this epic novel that begins 3,000,000 years ago with the fall of a meteorite. Skip to 100,000 years ago, when a huntress called Tall One finds a piece of the meteorite on the African plain. Tall One's descendants carry the stone northward to the land of the glaciers. From there it travels to ancient Israel, imperial Rome, medieval Europe, the Caribbean, and the Old West. Each woman who possesses the beautiful blue crystal endows it with powers unique to her times and circumstances. The stone shapes not only individual destinies but those of future generations as it evolves from the heart of a fertility goddess to a symbol of adultery to a religious relic to a necklace known as the Star of Cathay to an object of divination, ultimately ending up in a most unlikely setting revealed on the last page. A wealth of fascinating historical detail is woven into the mix, but it is Wood's characters who bring each era vividly to life. Discussion questions are included at the back. KLIATT Codes: SA—Recommended for senior high school students, advanced students, and adults. 2003, St. Martin's Griffin, 450p., Ages 15 to adult.