Kathleen O'Neal Gear

Kathleen O'Neal Gear is an American writer. 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 Advancement Award for "outstanding management" of our nation's cultural heritage. She is perhaps best known for her First North Americans series, co-authored with husband W. Michael Gear.
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New York Times bestselling novelists W. Michael and Kathleen O’Neal Gear have long been considered the foremost chroniclers of early Native American life. Now, in a critically acclaimed, sweeping new series, they recreate the conflict-filled years following one of the first European invasions. Seen through the eyes of a courageous pair of Native Americans, Fire the Sky follows Hernando de Soto’s brutal expedition north from the Florida peninsula as the explorer plunders the heart of a complex and fragile civilization.

An itinerant trader and outcast from his tribe, Black Shell was swept into the Spirit World and returned a transformed man. Now, carrying his white-feathered trader’s staff, he devotes his life to a sacred mission that only the tall, beautiful Pearl Hand—his lover, confidant and wife—truly understands. Black Shell has seen what the incomprehensibly violent, shining-armored invaders are capable of doing to his world and knows that if his people are to survive, he and his “Orphans,” a small band of fierce warriors, must kill as many Kristianos as they can.

After being fought to a standstill by the courageous Apalachee Nation, de Soto has changed his tactics. He will employ promises of peace to accomplish what cannot be achieved by violence alone. Lured by a young man’s tale of gold and aided by an arrogant princess’s treachery, he makes his way through the beautiful southeastern landscape. One by one, the ancient Nations fall victim to his lies as rulers and commoners alike are tricked into enslavement. In spite of the price de Soto has placed on his head, Black Shell shadows the Kristiano advance and finds that his own legend precedes him. Some will heed Black Shell’s strategies of sacrifice and deception. Others will ignore him—and suffer unspeakable horrors as a result.

In this moving, vivid portrait of a lost American civilization and a powerful love between a man and a woman, the Gears illuminate a little-understood time in our history, as this bloody conflict between two peoples hurtles toward an apocalyptic battle that may change the course of the war forever. . . .
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.

Award-winning archaeologists and New York Times and USA Today bestselling authors 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 in The Broken Land. Dekanawida's message of compassion and spiritual unity is as powerful today as it was six hundred years ago—perhaps even more so.


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