People of the Silence: A Novel of North America's Forgotten Past

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At its pinnacle in A.D. 1150 the Anasazi empire of the Southwest would see no equal in North America for almost eight hundred years. Yet even at this cultural zenith, the Anasazi held the seeds of their own destruction deep within themselves....

On his deathbed, the Great Sun Chief learns a secret, a shame so vile to him that even at the brink of eternity he cannot let it pass: In a village far to the north is a fifteen-summers-old girl who must be found. Though he knows neither her name nor her face, the Great Sun decrees that the girl must at all costs be killed.

Fleeing for her life as her village lies in ruins, young Cornsilk is befriended by Poor Singer, a curious youth seeking to touch the soul of the Katchinas. Together, they undertake the perilous task of staying alive long enough to discover her true identity. But time is running out for them all--a desperate killer stalks them, one who is willing to destroy the entire Anasazi world to get to her.

New York Times and USA Today bestselling authors and award-winning archaeologists W. Michael Gear and Kathleen O'Neal Gear bring the stories of these first North Americans to life in People of the Silence and other volumes in the magnicent North America's Forgotten Past series.

At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.

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About 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 Morning Star, People of the Songtrail, 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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Additional Information

Tor Books
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Published on
Sep 15, 1997
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Fiction / Historical
Fiction / Native American & Aboriginal
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Content Protection
This content is DRM free.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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“An irresistibly intriguing story line that brings the past vividly to life. . . . Nobody does Native Americana better than the Gears.” —Booklist

In the eagerly awaited third installment of the Contact: Battle for America saga, New York Times bestselling authors W. Michael and Kathleen O’Neal Gear richly portray a clash of cultures and a native peoples’ struggle to protect their world. Set against the tragic war sparked by Hernando de Soto’s brutal invasion of the American South, A Searing Wind heightens the historical action in this series hailed as “magnificent” (Andrew M. Greeley) and “exciting, skillfully crafted, and fast-paced” (Publishers Weekly).

Black Shell is an exile, banished by his people for his cowardice in battle. To his fearsome patron spirit, Horned Serpent, however, he is imbued with the courage and keenness to stop the Kristiano onslaught. He and his beautiful wife Pearl Hand have fought them from the Florida Peninsula through the very heart of native America. A trader by profession, Black Shell now dedicates his soul to destroying the invaders, with their impenetrable armor, their swift, enormous cabayos, and their flashing, razor-sharp swords.

Black Shell and Pearl Hand have seen the shackled, naked, starving slaves, heard the broken promises—and learned de Soto’s plans. While the battle of Mabila cost many Kristianos life and limb, the marauder does not retreat. Now he heads for Chicaza and the people from which Black Shell was once exiled.

Wounded and pursued by memories and visions, Black Shell is obsessed with setting the perfect trap. To do so, he must use the Chicaza and their stockpiles of food and supplies. And he must gamble everything on his people’s pride, traditions, and failings. As winter sets in, new dangers abound for the pair—that of a family’s shame, a woman’s anger, and a betrayal that may force Black Shell to forfeit his last chance to save their world from utter destruction. But, worst of all, he and Pearl Hand must walk boldly into de Soto’s camp and engage the cunning monster in a desperate game of wits that will decide the fate of a continent.

Powerful and pulsing with authenticity, A Searing Wind is an unforgettable tale of humanity and cruelty, passion and ignorance—and of historical events burned into America’s history and soul.
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