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People of the Moon
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People of the Moon

4.4 11
by W. Michael Gear, Kathleen O'Neal Gear

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They were called the Chaco Anasazi. They built thirty-foot-wide roads that crossed miles of mountains and mesas and constructed five story buildings which had more than 800 rooms. Their priests and warriors presided over the conquered populations of Chaco Canyon via an extensive system of signal towers that could send messages across the vast distances day or night


They were called the Chaco Anasazi. They built thirty-foot-wide roads that crossed miles of mountains and mesas and constructed five story buildings which had more than 800 rooms. Their priests and warriors presided over the conquered populations of Chaco Canyon via an extensive system of signal towers that could send messages across the vast distances day or night. Messages could be sent easily, and warriors could be dispersed to quell any rebellion within hours of the start of an uprising.

The Anasazi believed their destiny was charted in the paths of the moon, sun, and stars. The moon had reached its maximum three times since the Chacoans conquered the First Moon People. The Chaco matrons had built their Great House high atop First Moon Mountain, and their red-shirted warriors stalked arrogantly through the villages, taking what they pleased. But the gods can only stand so much human arrogance.

Young Ripple of the first Moon People had no desire to become a Dreamer, but when Cold Bringing Woman, the goddess of winter, appears at his high mountain camp, she sends him on a perilous quest to destroy the hated Chacoans. But Ripple will not face the task alone; he is aided by his stalwart friends on this mission.

But the blessed Chacoan Sun Webworm and his Dragonfly Clan matrons will brook no insurgency. In retaliation, Chacoan war chief Leather Hand and his warriors embark on a campaign of terror so gruesome it remains unrivaled in the annals of prehistory. It all comes to a climax atop the mountain we now know as Chimney Rock. In the white light of the lunar maximum, the Pueblo gods will dance—and an empire will be engulfed in flames and mayhem.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"I haven't read a novel this good in a long, long time. People of the Raven draws you into a magnificent, sweeping world—America, circa 7300 B.C.—that is so real you can almost breath in the air of it. It tells a bighearted story of war and peace, love and violence, with a cast of richly drawn characters. This is a novel that will stay with you for years—I guarantee it."—Douglas Preston, New York Times bestselling coauthor of Brimstone on People of the Raven

"People of the Raven, at one level, is the recreation of a lost and forgotten civilization by two noted archaeologists. But this story of Kennewick Man also involves an important legal battle pending in the U.S. Supreme Court and is a good read for those of us intrigued by the earliest Americans."—Tony Hillerman, New York Times bestselling author of the Joe Leaphorn and Jim Chee Novels on People of the Raven

"Richly imagined . . . They succeed in blending a great deal of information about how these hunter-gatherers lived together with the universal search for love, power, and wisdom. It's a combination that will surely satisfy readers."—Publishers Weekly on People of the Raven

"[The Gears] go where few have gone before, weaving bodice-ripping . . . tempest-tossed tale of lust and savagery around a pre-Columbian culture."—The Oklahoman on People of the Raven


"Extraordinary. . . . The Gears colorfully integrate authentic archaeological and anthropological details with a captivating story, replete with romance, intrigue, mayhem, and a nail biting climax."—Library Journal on People of the Owl


"People of the Owl . . . cements the Gears' place in Jean Auel's genre of prehistoric fiction."—Romantic Times (4 stars)

"The prehistoric epic at its finest, with a gripping plot, lots of action, well-developed characters, and a wealth of authentic historical facts. Strong relationships, thrilling action, and fascinating detail."—Booklist on People of the Masks

Children's Literature - Cara Chancellor
For more than two hundred years, the First People have ruled the clans of First Moon Mountain, bringing peace but also suppression and hated tithes. No one feels the weight of their sovereignty more than Ripple, a young clansman whose father was murdered by the First People's Red Shirt warriors. When Ripple is visited by Cold Bringing Woman—one of the First Moon People's oldest and most feared gods—he accepts her offer to trade his own life for freedom from the First People's reign. Within hours, Ripple and his friends are thrust into a war that will pit god against god, clan against clan, and change the course of history forever. This novel details the downfall of the historic Chacoan Anasazi/"First People" and their defeat at Chimney Rock/"First Moon Mountain" in modern-day Colorado. In their pursuit of realism, Gear and Gear do not shy away from graphic descriptions of rape, cannibalism, and torture. Readers who can accept these details as part of the authors' meticulous historical fiction, however, will be treated to a gripping account of North American prehistory and a timeless story of love, loss, and bravery. Reviewer: Cara Chancellor

Product Details

Tom Doherty Associates
Publication date:
North America's Forgotten Past Series
Edition description:
First Edition
Product dimensions:
6.38(w) x 9.46(h) x 1.48(d)

Read an Excerpt

People of the Moon

First Day


The mountains are quiet and cold. The stone upon which I sit sends its chill up through my flesh, into my spine. Cold. The world is cold. Even this sunrise spilling across the landscape below me in a blaze of orange-yellow reflects its cold in the purple shadows cast by the buttes, canyons, and peaks.

I look into eternity. There, distant in the southwest, the light narrows to focus on a rising column, a pillar of billowing pink climbing into the sky: the Rainbow Serpent.

For five years now, it has been pumping steam and lava from the underworlds. Sometimes ash drifts down like brittle flakes of snow. At other times, it is a fine dust that catches glints of sunlight. Here, so far from the source, we observe it as a feathering of gray on open containers of drinking water.

Signs and portents.

They weave around me, and I no longer care. Once I fought against them, seeking to save the people. Now, I no longer seek to influence Power, only to let it wash over me, through me.

My lover is dead.

His name was Badgertail. He kept me safe for twenty summers—and it is still a miracle.

I see him as a young man, tall, with a squat toad face and the burly body ofGrandfather Brown Bear. The blue spiders tattooed on his cheeks dance when he smiles.

I rock back and forth to ease the pain in my chest. Blessed Spirits, how I miss him.

For over a sun cycle, I had to watch my Badgertail grow more transparent each day, until he became a skeleton with kind and loving eyes. Even at the hard, lonely end, his love shone like a fire through his suffering. I keep that last glimpse of his living eyes.

When he died, it was as if some grasping force inexorably pulled the guts out of my souls, ripping away their essence and leaving me nothing but the painful hollow of memory.

Now I yearn for Death. We are old companions, more intimate than lovers. Sometimes in the midst of crowds, but more often among wounded or sick people, Death stands so close my legs will not hold me. I must sit down. Even when I am alone and warm, and my belly is full, I catch myself staring at the doorway, anxious, as though my heart hears Death's soft footsteps just outside. I long to reach out, to pull Death close, to feel it wind around my shoulders and tighten about my waist. I want its chill to cup my breasts, and stroke my throat. Death's cold thrust will spread from my womb through my hips and into my bones. As it slips around the base of my skull and lies metallic on my tongue, I can finally let go. Then, and only then, will I be free to find Badgertail again.

Meanwhile, I wait. And watch.

People have been coming to me for some time now, braving the "Mountain Witch" to ask if I know the Rainbow Serpent's purpose.

I tell them, "Look to your souls. The monster that lurks below is risen. Let loose, it brings death to those it bites."

They listen wide-eyed, sober, and chastened.

But they do not understand.

Some monsters rise from the depths. Others lurk just below the surface. Monsters are everywhere.

In the distant clouds, I see figures. They fly noiselessly over the morning-mottled desert below my mountain. Silent. Shifting. Cloud People. They are aptly named, for I see human forms there, winged, wearing masks that are at once beautiful and grotesque. They Dance with the trailing streamers of the Rainbow Serpent. Brother Sky mating with Grandmother Earth.

From the corner of my eye, I am aware of a misshapen form pirouetting through the dew-silvered meadow. There, in front of the white-barked aspens, he is but a flicker of movement, a sleight of the eye.

"What is being born, old friend?" I ask. Like me, his attention, too, is riveted on the Rainbow Serpent where it crawls upward to insert itself into the sky.

I hear his voice whispering to my souls ... .

Ah, yes. Of course.

In the end, all human endeavor comes to this.

I am more than a witch. I Dance the darkness, whisper with the dead, and smile down upon the dying. I have witnessed the deaths of great kings and seen empires Dancing toward their dissolution.

That is why I was chosen. To see the signs. To know the future.

I rise on stiff legs and draw a deep breath into my aged lungs. My world is about to end. The signs are here. The future is here. And the Rainbow Serpent is the proof.

I lift my arms and step down from my rocky perch. Closing my eyes, I sense Brother Mud Head. He sways this way and that, his feet shuffling in the Dance.

I match his movement, my uplifted hands mirroring his. Together, in a state of lethal bliss, we Dance the death of a nation.

Copyright © 2005 by W. Michael Gear and Kathleen O'Neal Gear

Meet the Author

KATHLEEN O'NEAL GEAR is a former state historian and archaeologist for Wyoming, Kansas, and Nebraska for the U.S. Department of the Interior. She has twice received the federal government's Special Achievement Award for "outstanding management" of our nation's cultural heritage.

W. MICHAEL GEAR, who holds a master's degree in archaeology, has worked as a professional archaeologist since 1978. He is currently principal investigator for Wind River Archaeological Consultants.

The Gears, whose First North American Series and Anasazi Mystery Series, are both international as well as USA Today bestsellers live in Thermopolis, Wyoming.

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People of the Moon (First North Americans Series) 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
hpp More than 1 year ago
However it helped the story to have read the previous two books in this series. And if you like this read you will definitely like any of the novels by William Sarabande. they are in the same vein but the 4 or 5 I have read by him were pre-historic, but very good.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
People of the moon By Kathleen O’Neal Gear and W. Michael Gear it has been quoted form Robert Frost that the world will end in either fire or ice, in this book by the Gears brings to question, what if it’s both. The Strait path nation is coming to an end, like the never ending spiral of the world it has completed its cycle. Webworm like his counterpart Nero seems to be dancing as the world burns literally around him. For the first time the Gears have brought together two great cast of characters, Night sun and Ironwood from people of the silence, and the powerful dreamer Nightshade. They have both seen the destruction of the world as they know, have come here to witness the battle of the Gods, as they see the world’s self-destruction. In the book we are introduced to four young new characters, four close childhood friends. Ripple, a young dreamer, brought into power by the gods themselves only to be tortured by the Strait Path matron Larksbird. The robust and endowed Wrapped wrist, who thought it, was more fun to play dalliances then any service to his clan or family. Bad Cast a young husband looked up to by all his friends for his jolly nature, and loving wife. Finally Spots, a scared and lonely man who believes he has nothing to look forward to. They all find that sacrifice for family; friends and the gods will bring them the greatest of things but cost them the most dearly. What choices would you make if on one hand you could have the love of life, and all the things you dreamed about, or give up everything to save the world?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good fictional story of early Native Americans in the Mississippi river area, including their beliefs and system of government.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
night-starman More than 1 year ago
Great story of the early american people. The Gear's have writen an other fantastic book about early life preeuropean influence. The way they write about the characters makes them come to life and jump from the pages as you read. The weaving of the different cahracters story line is per poetry.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
WOW!!!If you have read any of the other books by the Gears you will love this one. I love how it brings books 4,People of the River, and book 8, People of the Silence, of the First North American Series together with the Anasazi Mystery series. Everything you questioned in the other books is answered in this one. It brings together all the facts and tid bits of information together into one heck of a book to read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Glad to see that even in the prehistoric world, villians get their comeuppance. It's a somewhat drawn-out tale of the demise of the first great southwestern society (North America) but the characters have real depth with no redundancy. Especially interesting were the descriptions of the kivas, the construction of the various settlements/towns and the admirable way the Gears managed to write about the weather, itself as vital as any character, as ominously important to the storyline. I was moved by the story of the stone feather holder and won't forget it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
this is a wondeful book. probly the gear's darkest so far. i recomend this book to any gear fans specaily if you have read Slience and Anasazi Triogy series becuse MOON connects all these storys together. great read!!!!!
denise21 More than 1 year ago
the gears are terrific! they spin a tale that you just cant wait to find out what is going to happen next i have been reading the people series since the first book,people of the wolf i am replacing some of them at the moment because they are falling apart from being read so much! you will enjoy any of these books!