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People of the River (North America's Forgotten Past #4)

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4.09 of 5 stars 4.09  ·  rating details  ·  2,635 ratings  ·  59 reviews
Thousands of years ago, small hunting bands crossed the fragile land bridge linking the Eurasian continent to the Americas and discovered a land untouched by humankind. Over the centuries that followed, their descendents spread throughout this land. Bestselling authors and award-winning archaeologists W. Michael Gear and Kathleen O’Neal Gear bring the stories of these firs ...more
Paperback, 544 pages
Published December 1st 2009 by Tor Books (first published June 1st 1992)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Sarah
4.5 stars. Based on historical archaeological records, this fictional account traces the daily lives of one group of Native American Indian tribes. The plot follows a few characters, mainly shamans from several villages, as their paths intertwine. They live in a feudal style city-state at a time of major droughts. Villages struggle to feed themselves while also paying tribute to the king. Each character must deal with restoring a balance and sanity in their lives, either through magic, travel, o ...more
Faith Justice
This is another book that is hard (for me) to rank, so I didn't. I found the characters compelling, but uncomplicated. A couple of them underwent some change during the story (one, a ten year-old girl, you would expect some growth from), but most were exactly the same people at the end, in spite of war and famine. The research and details--food, farming techniques, clothing production, house building, tools, etc.--are breathtaking and the battle scenes brutal. It's obvious that the authors have ...more
Melissa
The Gear's are a husband-wife team who write books about the prehistoric first peoples of North America. There are several books in the series, but it isn't mandatory that you read them in order. Sure, there are a few details that may leave you confused if you haven't read the others, but the majority of the story is original and separate from the rest. People of the River is considered the fourth book in this series.

Nightshade is considered a powerful Dreamer. She has been ever since she was st
...more
Theresa
People of the River By W. Michael Gear and Kathleen O’Neal Gear
Review
This is a wonderful tale of interest built from the remains found in an archeology dig Mississippians, who, between 700 A.D. and 1500 A.D., Cahokia people are in crisis, and starving and not able to pay their chief. A new dreamer comes to help change the world for the better.
The starvation and war has made the world close to the brink of death, Mother Earth has closed the door to the rain. The first woman has closed the porta
...more
Good Reads Missoula, MT
I have not been able to put this series down since I first found it a few months ago. It is written by a husband and wife who are both Archaeologists. They have written a series of books called The First North Americans, as well as each writing their own individual books. Though the stories are mainly fictional, they are supplemented by real archaeological and historical findings and facts. Very intense at moments and really sad at others, overall, an excellent read.
Lani
Despite enjoying historical fiction, Native American history, and in particular, the region of Cahokia, this was a painfully uninteresting book.

Not entirely sure why it couldn't hold my interest. I think I might have lost interest due to the perspective switching for such long periods of time. Also, much of the book didn't have much climax to it and the writing was fairly dry.

Towards the end the action picked up, but the final drama seemed to come out of nowhere. There was a slight setup, but it
...more
Betty
An interesting ficionalized interpretation of an ancient American civilization based on years of archaeological study. The plot was good, although the story seemed to drag at times. The modern day opening was not revisited to close out the loop so, other than establishing modern-day location for the setting, that passage was a bit unnecessary. Overall an good read with references at the end for further non-fiction reading.
Billy Dominguez
"People of the River" is based on the Cahokian peoples of Illinois. Also known as mound builders, they build some fantastic structures. This novel is about a young girl by the name of Lichen who is destined to be a great dreamer and plays an important role in the war occurring between the Sun God of Cohokia and rival villages. This book started out different than most of the other People novels I have read, the first 200 pages is just character and plot building then it quickly changes pace mid ...more
Kitty Sutton
The Gears are the best at what they do, which is writing about pre-history based on archeology, creating a plausible fictional story to help us to understand the facts and thus preserve our own Native American history. Kathleen and Michael have been my lamplight in becoming a Native American historical fiction writer. They alone are responsible for peeking my interest in our dim past and have provided a window to that time and place of which they write. If you desire to see the past of our unkno ...more
Kitty Sutton
The Gears are the best at what they do, which is writing about pre-history based on archeology, creating a plausible fictional story to help us to understand the facts and thus preserve our own Native American history. Kathleen and Michael have been my lamplight in becoming a Native American historical fiction writer. They alone are responsible for peeking my interest in our dim past and have provided a window to that time and place of which they write. If you desire to see the past of our unkno ...more
Kimberly Beatty
I have not been able to put this series down since I first found it a few months ago. It is written by a husband and wife who are both Archaeologists. They have written a series of books called The First North Americans, as well as each writing their own individual books. Though the stories are mainly fictional, they are supplemented by real archaeological and historical findings and facts. Very intense at moments and really sad at others, overall, an excellent read.
Carolina Montague
This is another of the Native American prehistory books I treasure. I love how it went from the discovery of a fragile skull with a hole in it, indicating that the skull had been breached, but healed, to the tale of how that happened in the Mound Builder culture of AD 1200. Climate change started a decline and finally the abandonment of the complex fortified towns along the Mississippi river.



Nico Luciani
PLOT AND SETTING - 4/5
Pre-historic North America of the Gears' People of the River is a wondrous place filled with rich, diverse, and historically accurate culture. A bit of magic and religious mystique on the side and you've got yourself a great novel. The story takes place at a time when the ancient Mississippians stood on the precipice of war, famine, and climate change, while having to deal with a mad tyrant whose only job is to make everyone else's lives a living hell. Overall, I really lik
...more
Julie
This is my favorite of these books so far. But I may stop on my way back. I love that some of these books are set during climate change crises. The book is about events that happened 700 years ago and is still timely, spiritual, and a lot of fun. This story is also quite feminist, which I enjoyed.
Patricia
I especially like this story. Very complex and informative. You do need to remember that social mores do not show up in the archaeological record. Otherwise, very well researched.
Krista
Really good book, I was addicted all the way to the last page. I did skin some of the war scenes however, but for the most part I was deeply enthralled!
Melissa
I usually love the Gears' stories; this one I liked. I cannot speak to the geographically and culturally accurate descriptions in the story, but I can speak to the effect of the fictional part of the story. There were two aspects of this story that I felt were weak, weaker than traditionally seen with these authors.
First, the characters were too few and therefore the overlapping intimacy of their lives was distracting. For a story that spans at least a decade (with older overtones) and several
...more
Nadja
I enjoyed this book more than the others so far...perhaps because it featured prominent, powerful female characters that, quite simply, kick ass :) Am enjoying the series for its ability to take a nondescript historical speculation and turn it into a compelling storyline that has you on the edge of your seat. This one didn't disappoint. Perhaps because I've made peace that the writing isn't on Hemingway-level. The ability to bring an ancient culture to life, however, is supreme.
Denise
Los libros de de Michael Gear y Kathleen O’Neal Gear siempre son garantía. Los libros anteriores que he leído de ellos me han gustado mucho. Este no me desagradó, sin embargo me costó un poco de trabajo leerlo por el grado de violencia que maneja. Sé que los guerreros de estas tribus eran muy salvajes y violentos, y qué esos eran sus códigos de guerra, pero en ésta ocasión hasta el Jefe Sol resultó toda una ficha. Sus decisiones viscerales e iracundas llevan a toda una población a la ruina. La h ...more
Eric
I was disappointed with this book. i''m from st. louis, the general area where it takes place. there are some 'off'' references to ravens in st. louis--there are certianly NOT ravens typically in st. louis. he mentions carp and pussywillow living here, and both i beleive are from europe or china, introduced by europeans, there are mentions of grizzly bears in the peoples stories, and i think aspen trees, none exist here to be significant part of their culture. there is no mention of the massive ...more
Susie Creamcheese
it was well written
I didn't care for the hierarchy of the Cahokia natives
this book was much harder to get through to the end.
a bit different from the other cultures of natives in previous books
Libby Talley
An interesting story about the Cahokian people in the Mississippi Valley and Missouri area. They were known as the Mound Builders. It does have authentic Native American history.
Sanda Cleays
The books by Gear and Gear seem to all become the same basic story. Many repetitions throughout the book for theme. Glad it ended the way it did though.
Donna
Painfully slow...but I'll get through it.
Lorna Droogers
Every book gets better and better
John Devisser
Decent, not nearly as good as People of the Morning Star.
Ray Ziemer
Pretty much what I expected. It's so hard to write a "historical" novel about Native Americans without indulging in cliches and without sounding... lame.
The research for this book seems extensive, and the detail of daily life rich. But somehow I had the feeling I was reading a kind of romance novel padded with all kinds of mystical hoo-hah, with drug-induced spirit journeys, and paranormal dreaming. I could have done without that.
Sara McGuire
Mar 05, 2008 Sara McGuire rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Sara by: Mom
This was a really interesting book in its quasi-historical style. I don't know a lot about the Mississipian culture, but it has always fascinated me... now I know a little more. If you like the Clan of the Cave Bear type novels, this one is right up there, and a quicker read. I did get annoyed with some of the phraseology - turning modern phrases into what the authors believed to be the Mississipian equivalent- but I got over it.
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W. Michael Gear was born in Colorado Springs, Colorado, on the twentieth of May, 1955. A fourth generation Colorado native, his family had been involved in hard-rock mining, cattle ranching, and journalism. After his father's death in 1959, Michael's mother received her Master's degree in journalism and began teaching. In 1962 she married Joseph J. Cook, who taught tool and die making, and the fam ...more
More about W. Michael Gear...

Other Books in the Series

North America's Forgotten Past (1 - 10 of 17 books)
  • People of the Wolf (North America's Forgotten Past, #1)
  • People of the Fire (North America's Forgotten Past, #2)
  • People of the Earth (North America's Forgotten Past, #3)
  • People of the Sea (North America's Forgotten Past, #5)
  • People of the Lakes (North America's Forgotten Past, #6)
  • People of the Lightning (North America's Forgotten Past, #7)
  • People of the Silence (North America's Forgotten Past, #8)
  • People of the Mist (North America's Forgotten Past, #9)
  • People of the Masks (North America's Forgotten Past, #10)
  • People of the Owl (North America's Forgotten Past, #11)
People of the Fire (North America's Forgotten Past, #2) People of the Wolf (North America's Forgotten Past, #1) People of the Earth (North America's Forgotten Past, #3) People of the Lakes (North America's Forgotten Past, #6) People of the Sea (North America's Forgotten Past, #5)

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“happens when the Spiral is knocked out of balance. Earthmaker created the universe to have equal portions—Pain and Happiness, Birth and Death, Heat and Cold. That’s why the Spiral is so important. Its circles reach from the thinnest roots that dig into the ground to the perfect motions of the stars. Sometimes humans knock the Spiral out of kilter, sometimes animals do it. Every time a coyote runs through a flock of new lambs, killing for the sheer sport of it, without ever eating its prey … the Spiral tilts.” 0 likes
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