The Broken Land

A People of the Longhouse Novel

North America's Forgotten Past (Volume 19)

Kathleen O'Neal Gear and W. Michael Gear

Tor Books

A novel of North America’s Forgotten Past

Twelve summers after the events of The People of the Longhouse and The Dawn Country, the Iroquois nations remain locked in bitter warfare. Atotarho, the cannibal-sorcerer who leads the People of the Hills, schemes to set into motion a cataclysmic battle that threatens to destroy the Iroquoian world. His warriors spread fear and death wherever they go, taking captives and burning villages to the ground.

Only five people are brave enough to challenge Atotarho. Odion, Wrass, Tutelo, Baji, and Zateri, kidnapped as children and sold into slavery, are now grown, and they have forged a desperate alliance that just might be strong enough to stop the madman.

Odion, now a disgraced warrior known as Dekanawida or Sky Messenger, must convince his people that his visions of a great darkness will mean total destruction for all. His friend Wrass, who has become War Chief Hiyawento, and a powerful clan matron, Jigonsaseh, are his only hope. They must find a way to bring five warring nations together.

Bestselling authors and archaeologists Kathleen O’Neal Gear and W. Michael Gear continue their retelling of the story of the Peacemaker, one of North America’s most beautiful epics. Dekanawida’s message of compassion and spiritual unity is as powerful today as it was six hundred years ago—perhaps even more so.


Read an Excerpt

The Broken Land
OneSky Messenger 
Darkness is coming.I halt at the edge of the birches and steady myself by placing a hand against a massive granite boulder, concentrating on the bright yellow leaves that whirl through the cold air. The scent of snow suffuses Wind Mother's breath. While my fingers gouge the rock, I gaze up at the deep blue thunderheads standing like fortresses above the chestnuts and sycamores that ring the meadow. Dusk's purple halo has faded to nothingness, leaving the white tree trunks steel gray, the dry grasses silver.The old wolf who always strides at


Praise for The Broken Land

Praise for Kathleen O’Neal Gear and W. Michael Gear and the Novels of North America’s Forgotten Past


“The second installment of the Gears’ People of the Longhouse series is sure to keep readers turning the pages…. As usual, the Gears, husband-and-wife archaeologists, have enriched and enhanced the gripping plot with plenty of anthropological, archaeological, and historical detail.”
Booklist on The Dawn Country


“Rich in cultural detail… Both longtime fans and newcomers will be satisfied. Another fine entry in an ambitious, long-running series.”  —Kirkus Reviews on People of the Longhouse


“Set in the 1300s largely in what is now Alabama and Mississippi, this complex novel tracks three wanderers’ quest to create peace in violent times. Blended with the carefully drawn suspense of court intrigues, colorful characters and sharp plot twists, this is a terrific tale.”
Publishers Weekly on People of the Thunder


“The Gears, husband-and-wife archaeologists turned bestselling authors, continue their superbly researched and rendered North America’s Forgotten Past series. This novel is as good a place as any of its predecessors to jump in and begin enjoying the authors’ talents.”
Booklist on People of the Thunder


People of the Raven, at one level, is the re-creation 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


People of the Raven draws you into a magnificent, sweeping world—America, circa 7300 B.C.—that is so real you can almost breathe 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 author of Tyrannosaur Canyon

Reviews from Goodreads



  • Kathleen O'Neal Gear and W. Michael Gear

  • 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 Americans Series hit the international as well as USA Today and New York Times bestseller lists, live in Thermopolis, Wyoming.

  • W. Michael Gear Jeff Corney
    W. Michael Gear
  • Kathleen O'Neal Gear Jeff Corney
    Kathleen O'Neal Gear





    Available Formats and Book Details

    The Broken Land

    A People of the Longhouse Novel

    North America's Forgotten Past

    Kathleen O'Neal Gear and W. Michael Gear



    Tor Books