People of the Moon

( 9 )


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 warriors stalked arrogantly through the villages, taking what they pleased. But the gods can only stand so much human arrogance.


Cold Bringing Woman, the goddess of winter, calls upon young Ripple to embark on a perilous quest to destroy the hated Chacoans. But Ripple will not face the task ...

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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 warriors stalked arrogantly through the villages, taking what they pleased. But the gods can only stand so much human arrogance.


Cold Bringing Woman, the goddess of winter, calls upon young Ripple to embark on a perilous quest to destroy the hated Chacoans. But Ripple will not face the task alone; he is aided by his stalwart friends: Wrapped Wrist, a short lothario; Spots, scarred at birth, and aide to the frightening witch, Nightshade; and Bad Cast, a simple family man, who will do anything to free his people.


But the blessed matrons will brook no insurgency. In retaliation, 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.


From W. Michael Gear and Kathleen O'Neal Gear, People of the Moon is a story of North America's Forgotten Past—the battles fought, the heroes made, and the cultures that thrived in America's prehistory.

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Editorial Reviews

One of the best novels in the whole series..... A riveting novel.
From the Publisher
"One of the best novels in the whole series. The Gears have consistently captured early Native American life with precision, detail, and narrative excitement, but in People of the Moon they reveal their skills to even sharper effect.....A riveting novel. . . . The Gears don't shy away from authenticism in depicting the violence that resulted."—Booklist on People of the Moon

"A lively tale of warring clans. . . . Should leave readers hungry for more entries in the series."—Kirkus Reviews on People of the Moon

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
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780765347589
  • Publisher: Tom Doherty Associates
  • Publication date: 10/31/2006
  • Series: North America's Forgotten Past Series , #13
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 640
  • Sales rank: 472,680
  • Product dimensions: 4.26 (w) x 6.72 (h) x 1.05 (d)

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 holds a master's degree in archaeology and has worked as a professional archaeologist since 1978. He is principal investigator for Wind River Archaeological Consultants.


Together they have written the North America’s Forgotten Past series (People of the Longhouse, The Dawn Country, People of the Mist, People of the Wolf, among others); and the Anasazi Mysteries series. The Gears live in Thermopolis, WY.

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Read an Excerpt

People of the Moon

By W. Michael Gear

Forge Books

Copyright © 2006 W. Michael Gear
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780765347589

People of the Moon
First DaySUN CYCLE OF THE WATER SERPENT, THE MOON OF PRAYER FEATHERSThe 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


Excerpted from People of the Moon by W. Michael Gear Copyright © 2006 by W. Michael Gear. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 9 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 9 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 23, 2012



    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 20, 2010

    people of the moon what a wonderful book

    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!

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  • Posted November 11, 2009

    The story was interesting and moved quite well.

    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.

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  • Posted June 12, 2009

    An Nother Great Read

    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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 15, 2007


    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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 16, 2007

    Another good Gear novel

    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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 17, 2006

    one of the better Gear books!!!

    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!!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 5, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 17, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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