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People of the Thunder

North America's Forgotten Past

W. Michael Gear and Kathlean O'Neal Gear

Tor Books

By 1300 AD, the Sky Hand people had crushed and enslaved the Albaamaha people and built their high-walled capital, Split Sky City, to dominate towns up and down the Black Warrior River. But a violent wind is brewing that may topple the city's mighty walls. Great armies are on the march, and a cunning new leader, Smoke Shield, has risen. He will lead the Sky Hand people either to stunning triumph or to bloody doom.  Old White, Trader, and the mystical Two Petals are journeying across the Choctaw lands straight into the chaos. Old White, the Seeker, must play a delicate game of espionage. For Trader the slightest indiscretion--let alone the temptation of forbidden love--could lead to disaster. Two Petals, the Contrary, faces the toughest choice of all : She must betray herself and her friends to Smoke Shield or live forever in the backward grip of madness. And Spirit Power has laid a far deadlier trap for them in the rainbow colors just beneath the rolling surface of the Black Warrior River.  A novel of desperate political intrigue and spiritual power, People of the Thunder once again demonstrates the Gears' mastery of American prehistory. Explore the ancestral heritage of the Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek and Yuchi peoples as the majesty and genius of the vanished Mississippian mound builders' civilization comes to life.

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The Contrary—the woman once known as Two Petals— walked through the quiet night. Her moccasin-clad feet scuffed the plaza’s trampled surface, the sound of leather on clay like the whisper of distant ghosts. Her straight body moved purposefully, rounded hips swaying. Black flowing hair swung even with her buttocks, and she clutched a beaverhide blanket closely about her shoul­ders. With each exhalation, she watched her breath fog and rise toward the black, star-encrusted sky. Over­head, the constellations seemed to shimmer and wink against the winter night.
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  • The Gears discuss their book, People of the Thunder

    Author interview with W. Michael Gear and Kathleen O'Neal Gear on People of the Thunder, the sixteenth novel in the North America's Forgotten Past series.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • W. Michael Gear and Kathlean O'Neal 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 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.
  • W. Michael Gear Jeff Corney
    W. Michael Gear
  • Kathleen O'Neal Gear Jeff Corney
    Kathleen O'Neal Gear
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People of the Thunder

North America's Forgotten Past

W. Michael Gear and Kathlean O'Neal Gear

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Tor Books

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