Read People of the Owl by Kathleen O'Neal Gear W. Michael Gear Online


New York Times and USA Today bestselling authors W. Michael Gear and Kathleen O'Neal Gear are famous for writing novels about prehistoric America that are fast-paced, steeped in cultural detail, and smart. In People of the Owl they combine their distinctive trademark of high action with a rich psychological drama.Four thousand years ago, in what centuries later will be theNew York Times and USA Today bestselling authors W. Michael Gear and Kathleen O'Neal Gear are famous for writing novels about prehistoric America that are fast-paced, steeped in cultural detail, and smart. In People of the Owl they combine their distinctive trademark of high action with a rich psychological drama.Four thousand years ago, in what centuries later will be the southern part of the United States, a boy is thrust into manhood long before he's ready. Young Salamander would much rather catch crickets and watch blue herons fish than dabble in the politics of his clan. But when his heroic brother is killed, Salamander becomes the leader of America's first city. He inherits his brother's two wives, who despise him, and is forced to marry his mortal enemy's daughter to forge an alliance for the trade goods his people desperately need.Cast adrift in a stark wilderness of political intrigue where assassins are everywhere, young Salamander has no choice but to become a man-and quickly....

Title : People of the Owl
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780812589832
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 609 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

People of the Owl Reviews

  • Sonya
    2019-01-27 07:10

    Wow! I thoroughly enjoyed reading People of the Owl by Kathleen O'Neal and W. Michael Gear. I personally think it's one of authors best People of the ... stories. A great historical novel - so believable in many ways. Of course, the reader would have to believe in the power of dreams, prophecies and visions. Jealously, clan hierarchy, political intrigue, deception, hate, schemes, ambitions, war and peace, right and wrong, good and bad, love and sacrifice - all wrapped up in a very meaningful, intertwining, interesting story. In a round-about-way, the story can be played in today's political world.A jealous clan leader schemes so that an odd, outcast boy of sorts becomes a clan Speaker of his rival clan, leader of the Sun Town people. In addition, he arranges for his nieces, two sisters, to marry this young boy. The boy is forced to become a man and a leader overnight. What practically everyone in town can't see through their prejudices, how special the boy/man is. He is underestimated, misunderstood and wise beyond his years. He also has insight and help through his dreams and spirit helpers.As the story develops, the authors do an outstanding job describing the scenery, how life might have been for a highly developed civilization and culture four thousand years ago in America's first city.The authors made me feel for the people and the culture. However, some of the descriptions I find gruesome - how they treat their dead and living enemies and how they take care of their dead loved ones. All-in-all, I had a very hard time to put the book down. It was interesting through and through.

  • J.M. Northup
    2019-02-21 08:13

    One of My Favorites From the Series!I loved Mud Puppy, who is later named Salamander when he is trust into a leadership role after the death of his older brother. He is such a loving soul and I just adore him. The struggles he faces and the uncontrollable events that shape and direct his life just tear my heart apart.I enjoyed the rich descriptions of the landscapes and the detailed depiction of the Native Americans who created Poverty Point in Epps, Louisiana. The story pulled me in and kept me in its grips from cover to cover. I felt like I was really there and I received a wonderful understanding of the cultural beliefs of our ancestors.I think this story will appeal to readers of all genres. It is a psychological thriller with a supernatural flare, but it is also historical fiction at its best with a romantic flow. That is one thing I love about this series and the Gears - they has something for everyone!

  • Theresa
    2019-01-30 02:06

    People of the Owl W. Michael Gear and Kathleen O’Neal Gear Review: Being stuck between a rock and a hard place is easy compared to Mud Puppy's predicament. Being caught between the twin brothers is a lot worse. Masked Owl his spirit guide is telling him one thing. Many Colored Crow his twin brother is telling him another. He is caught within the power struggle of light and dark, and either path may not be the best choice, at least not for the people. But that is only the beginning of Mud Puppy's problems he is caught between the rivalry of the clans, and the power struggle of brutal men, Mud Stalker and Deep hunter. With aid and support from few people of power, he may not find it easy to continue in his current eminence. Then there are his wives, and the divided struggle between three women who were all promised to his dead older brother. The rivalry of sisters and enemies may just be the last of them. Will Mud Puppy fall into the One, or create the greatest of nations with trade, and war? Which will you choose; power, glory, knowledge, or the people who think you are either incompetent, or worse a witch. Character listPeople of the Owl:Yellow Bird: trader, friend of White BirdWhite Bird: Older son, trader, to be named speaker for the Sun people tribe. He was killed by power.Young Salamander: (mud puppy) A young dreamer: Considered the village idiot he is thrown into politics because of the death of his brother.Wing Heart: Owl clan elder or leader of the Sun People.Uncle Cloud Heron: Uncle to White bird and Mud puppy, speaker for the Sun People.The serpent: holy man of the Sun people.Jaguar Hide: leader of the Swamp Panther nation, just south of the Sun People.Anhinga: niece of Jaguar hide, lead an unsuccessful raid on the Sun People. Forced to flee, and is brought back to form a treaty with the Sun People, has her own agenda.Night Rain: Niece of Dark Hunter, leader of the Snapping turtle clan, younger sister to Pine drop, also married to White Bird, and SalamanderPine drop: niece of Dark hunter, leader of the snapping turtle clan, engaged to White bird, married to Salamander after White Bird’s death, first wife.Heron: dreamer first woman, taught the twins, and nurtures the One and the tree of life in her cave.Masked Owl: dreamer, spirit guide, may be Owl Dreamer, in a contest with Many Colored Crow for the vision of the nation.Many Colored crow: Raven hunter, the dark twin, attempts to change the culture or the people, uniting them in an unprecedented way.

  • Natalie
    2019-01-31 05:16

    This is the best native american fiction novel I've read since the Mother Earth, Father Sky series. The way the Gears painted Sun Town and its inhabitants was engaging and fascinating. Salamander is someone you aren't sure of in the beginning, but come to love and respect by the novel's close. The same can be said for Pine Drop, Anhinga, Night Rain and Yellow Spider. The relationships depicted here (especially the clan politics) are so real, they could be taking place today, aside from our modern advances. It pains me to see that we haven't grown much since then. We are still a grasping, greedy people, looking for advancement and power (at least, some of us are). Of course, the details have been filled in by the authors, but it is very conceivable that everything could have happened similarly to the way they described it. It hurts to see those who are so thirsty for power to destroy anything in their path to achieve it- good and bad alike. The only thing I found tough to wrap my head around was the dreaming Salamander experienced, and his strong connection to the spirit world and his "gods". Granted, those who eat certain things are put in a state of dreaming (think LSD)but for him to be so lucid and grounded and still be connected to those spirits miffed me. That took away a little of the realness for me. If Salamander had acted on his own, without the constant interference from Masked Owl and Many Colored Crow, i would have certainly thought more of him.Without giving away too much, I will say that I didn't like the ending- but I rarely do in these types of novels. There is usually too much bloodshed to set things right again. Even though Salamander did the right thing, I wish it had ended differently for him. Pine Drop was my favorite character. I believe she changed the most- and I really liked the person she became once she got over her prejudice and let her heart soften. She fought her uncle out of her love for Salamander, and I commend her for that. Even Night Rain did as well, but it took her much longer to come around. I wish there was more of an epilogue, an explanation of exactly what happened during that next day after the summer solstice. Things were hinted at, but I believe they could have been explored more to the satisfaction of the reader. I mean, we've put 600 pages into this novel, I think we deserve more at the end then a few scraps. I want details. This novel reads quickly, and is quite satisfying, despite these minor setbacks. I can certainly see myself reading this again in the future- it's a keeper.

  • Melissa
    2019-02-02 05:34

    Maybe it's just because I like owls, but I actually really enjoyed this book in The First North American series. While it did reference previous books, it gave enough background that it isn't necessary to read it in order, this book can be a stand alone.Mud Puppy, later known as Salamander, has always been a strange child. He prefers to be at one with nature rather than achieve any sort of prestige. So when he is thrust into a leadership role after his brother and uncle die he knows he must tread carefully. He has enemies on all sides, and even his wives don't want to see him succeed. He is also caught between two power beings who want to use them for their own ends. Salamander's life is no longer his own.Salamander has the quickest growth of any character that I've seen. He's smart, thoughtful, and tries to do what is best for the community rather than himself. Which makes him special, as most people think of their own personal gain. Unfortunately it also makes him a bit unbelievable. People are naturally selfish and to be so pure in his intentions, while possible, just doesn't seem that likely. His three wives are all a strange bunch too. They don't particularly like him but then again they all have their own agendas. I actually found them to be very believable as they all had something they wanted out of life and would do anything to achieve. Then there are the "bad" guys, they too are just people who want a little bit of power and to be in a leadership position.While this book covered over a year it didn't really seem like it had that big of a span. It was telling the story of Salamander's life and it meandered through it. But not at so slow of pace that it wasn't interesting. You genuinely wanted to know what was going to happen and how he was going to get himself out of the fix he was in. Although, truthfully, I was a bit disappointed by the ending. There was a lot more about the people's actual culture in this book too, from how they wore their clothing to what they were eating. There usually is a little detail in the other books, but not to the extent that this one had. I appreciated learning a little more about how Salamander's people lived.As I've said before, I think these books get better as they go along. I'm almost disappointed that I'm nearing the end of the series.People of the OwlCopyright 2003598 pagesReview by M. Reynard 2014More of my reviews can be found at

  • Katie Rhodig
    2019-01-27 08:27

    Reading People of the Owl, you can almost feel the sweat drip down your neck and smell the mud as you turn the pages. This story is set down in the area of modern day Louisiana, in the murky swamps and bayous. It tells the tale of Mud Puppy, a 15 summers old boy and the struggle for his souls between Masked Owl, who we know as Wolf Dreamer, and his twin brother Many-Colored-Crow, also called Raven Hunter. Deeper in the swamps, a young woman named Anhinga fights her own personal demons in her dreams. After witnessing the deaths of her younger brother and several young warrior friends at the hands of Mud Puppy’s people, she vows revenge on those in Mud Puppy’s home, known as Sun Town. She plots with her uncle Jaguar Hide to come up with a way to destroy their enemies. At the same time, Mud Puppy, now called Salamander is thrust head first into manhood after the death of his older, charismatic brother who was also the new clan speaker. Salamander takes his place as speaker for their clan despite his lack of experience. With this new role, he inherits his brother’s wives, Pine Drop and Night Rain, who make married life miserable for him. Seeking solitude and guidance from clan matters and his annoying wives, Salamander comes to know Masked Owl and Many-Colored-Crow as well as Sun Town’s healer, the Serpent. With the help of the Serpent, Salamander dances with the One and sees how the future will play out for his clan, rivaling clans and his own family. Anhinga arrives at Sun Town, plot in hand, to secretly get revenge by marrying into Owl clan, more specifically, Salamander. Plotting the whole time of her marriage with her uncle, Anhinga finds herself caring for Salamander but still despising the council. Salamander is still torn between Masked Owl and Many-Colored-Crow, each showing him glimpses of what the future holds if he picks one to commit his soul to. He dances the One again and meets old Heron, who offers advice and guides him on a path on how to handle the twins. As you keep reading, you can almost feel the mosquitoes landing on your arm, giving you gooseflesh as they land, but really it’s the story and the secrets that surround this ancient site and the mysteries it holds. Read on about this city and its characters Salamander, Anhinga, and the rest of the clans as their future unfolds in Salamander’s mind and as power once again has its way with the Dreamer and those around him.

  • Ray Ziemer
    2019-01-30 03:06

    The People of the Owl is another volume in a series of historical novels depicting the lives of pre-Columbian Native Americans. This tale goes way back 3500 years to the time of the mound-building culture of the Lower Mississippi Valley. Specifically, the authors set their story at Poverty Point, a major archaeological site in Louisiana, which in its time must have been one of the largest settlements in the New World. Author W. Michael Gear is a well-respected archaeologist, and the fictional work is based on sound research (a bibliography of which is provided.)The story revolves around Salamander, a young man chosen by spiritual powers to a pivotal role in determining the future of Sun Town and its whole society. He struggles to keep peace between warring factions and to keep the uneasy balance among clans that make their way of life possible. As the story moves along we meet a few memorable characters, good and bad, including the several wives and other relatives Salamander must deal with. In a time before organized agriculture, it is amazing that these hunter-gatherers were able to build the tall mounds and other earthworks at the heart of their city. The plot suggests one turning point in their survival, stressing the importance of trade, cooperation, and obligation within and without the city. Although the book devotes a lot of space to pseudo-metaphysical discussions between totem animals and spirit beings, and seemingly much of consequence occurs in dreams, perhaps the authors can be excused for such wordiness. A certain amount of this is necessary for the reader to fathom the minds of the native people, to understand their lives and to what extent they were guided by their perception of supernatural goings-on.Likewise, not everyone will appreciate the lengthy and frequent passages of description, but I found the cultural references informative and they helped me picture the characters and the setting. Furthermore, the vivid description of the swampy lowlands, the dense forests, the colorful and sometimes dangerous animal life, made the Lower Mississippi backwaters come alive for me. I especially liked the scenes depicting the characters’ time (much of it) spent in canoes. I think the authors must have paddled a few strokes in their time.

  • Suzanne
    2019-02-20 02:10

    I love all of W. Michael and Kathleen's books!

  • Theresa
    2019-02-14 06:30

    Setting: near the mouth of the Mississippi. A large town on the shores of a lake and it's surrounding areas.Crisis: The 6 clans of the Sun people that make up the town are competing for the leadership of their town. Currently the Owl clan is on top, but their leader is dying and his heir hasn't returned from a trading trip up north. Everyone considers his younger brother, Mud Puppy/Salamander an idiot, but is he?A nearby tribe, the Panthers have posession of a large sandstone quarry that is needed for all kinds of work, but the Panthers won't let the Sun people have enough so they are constantly at war. I really like this one. It drew me in from the beginning. Salamader is a mysterious person but I loved how he deceived everyone when they thought they were controlling him.Favorite scene: two of them that are related to each other: When Salamader opens his 1st wife's eyes but showing her the wonders of the world. First: watching the sunrise on top of the main temple mound, then later when they are out fishing he quitely shows her how spiders weave their webs and herons catch fish. By doing so he captures her heart.Caution: There are some sexual moments between Salamader and his three wives and a couple of near rapes. Also the torture and subsequet mutalation of the bodies of four of the Panther warriors is quite graphic.

  • Mieczyslaw Kasprzyk
    2019-02-11 07:18

    Mud Puppy, later Salamander, is a thinking individual who becomes the meeting point between contesting forces, and not just human ones at that. To ensure that all will be kept in balance he has to carefully manoeuvre his way through the naked ambition of others and the scorn, and lack of understanding, of many of his people. Fortunately he has the support of some very useful friends and companions as they become aware of the true soul that occupies this great man.Normally I dislike the way the Gears depict the ancient Americans as being a cross between Shaolin monks and the great philosophers of time but here, in "People of the Owl" they have somehow managed to balance it well with the real world. Our hero is both a gentle and realistic soul. The world depicted has a veracity and danger about it that is believable. The depiction of Sun Town, the river and the surrounding mangroves is vivid. I think this must be perhaps the best book in the "First Americans" series that I've read so far.

  • Kristin Gleeson
    2019-02-22 06:08

    This is a more recent offering of the Gears set in Southeastern America about 3000 years ago. A young boy, Salamander, is thrown into the position of Speaker of his clan and the council through the tragic death of his brother and the political manipulations of another clan speaker. Inheriting his brothers wives and a woman who is a sworn enemy of his people Salamaner must negotiate his growing affinity with the spirit world and the earthly ambitions of the people around him. The Gears tell this tale with a better sense of depth and skill than the previous works of theirs I've read. Though it is still packed with information for the sake of it which is useful to someone researching an area sparsely written about, the characters had more depth and they created a moving and interesting story as a result.

  • Barb Crumb
    2019-01-25 07:29

    People of the Owl by Michael GearAs usual, I loved this book. I've always been interested in Indian culture, and now that we're talking about the paleo- and post-paleo peoples that inhabited this country long before Columbas, I feel that any historical fiction that includes a 3-4 page bibliography is likely to be written by wee-known archeologists will have as much authenticity as is possible in this type of work. The fictional story is woven around what has been learned from studies of the artifacts of the time. The books, if read as chronologically as possible, seem to show the development of society through periods of great change.

  • John Strassel
    2019-01-23 06:18

    This is the first book I've read by this author, and wow, it was excellent! The plot was fast paced for a pretty long book (I do love long novels). The characters were well developed and intriguing, although it was hard to remember who was who sometimes because of the strange Native American names. The book was educational without being boring and too detail specific, like some books relating to this time period. I really liked the ending, although it wasn't especially a happy one. I would recommend this author's books and plan on reading more from her.

  • Trisha Owens
    2019-02-13 04:29

    This was a great book. Historical fiction, and based on early tribesmen of the South, story follows a young adolescent boy who is thrown into manhood and responsibilities he never imagined, nor could he ever fulfill considering the warring Natives during this time in history. The book was one of those "can't put down" and rich with rituals and customs of the Natives, some quite gruesome from my perspective. But the authors, Kathleen O'Neal Gear and W. Michael Gear do a superb job!

  • Angel
    2019-02-09 04:17

    I bought this book when I was travelling and thought maybe it would be interesting. I have now finished it and found it interesting, sometimes predictable and sometimes unpredictable. Did not see the ending coming! Recommend it but will not go out of my way for others in the series. One thing I would say, even though there is only some sex, I think it was unnecessary and without it I would recommend this book to teenagers.

  • Lindsey
    2019-02-02 03:10

    The beginning of the book took a little while to get into as the reader is introduced to all the characters and customs of the prehistoric North American tribes but there was quite a bit of action, dynamic relationships and mysterious "guide" Spirits to keep the story moving. Favorite quote: Salamander's lips twitched. "Can any of us truly know that his not a fool, Brother-in-law? I doubt myself all the time.

  • Monica
    2019-02-12 03:30

    Read most of the series by the Gears, quite entertaining. This one, I must share was my favorite of the series because I felt the numinous quality of the universal within the story. And it moved me deeply. There are few moments in the telling of a good story where tiny little slivers of truth shine & shake me. Not sure if the Gears are practising shamanic practioners- in this one the web Salamander danced upon had a palpable pulse that I found quite enjoyable.

  • Bee Birch
    2019-02-12 04:19

    I read this whole book because my brother loves this series but I found the plot both predictable and unbelievable. (Yes, I know it's fantasy.) The characters are hard to keep track of and I really didn't care about what happened to any of them. There is too much violence, rape, and murder for my taste. I think it's crazy that so many people like these books--it's a publishing empire.

  • Jennifer
    2019-01-31 03:24

    Interesting story of politics and intrigue set in what is now called "Poverty Point" in Louisiana -- enormous earthworks dating between 1650 – 700 BC. The author's work is based on archaeological research in the area. This is the first in their "First Peoples" series. The story was riveting and rather Shakespeare-esque in its convolutions and quests for power. I enjoyed this read.

  • Bookfanatic
    2019-02-19 04:18

    I tried but I just couldn't read more than half the chapters in the book. I found the story boring and the cast of characters too complicated to keep track of. It's not like other historical fiction about Native Americans that I've read and enjoyed. I had high hopes for the People Of The...Series but this book just didn't live up to my expectations.

  • Billy Dominguez
    2019-02-17 03:16

    People of the Owl had good elements, good scenes, and good characters, unfortunately it all got over-showed by clan politic plotting and the over used formula of Wold Dreamer & Raven Hunter corrupting a dreamer.

  • Monica
    2019-02-18 03:07

    Subtle and insightful, a fascinating glimpse into a barely-touched upon period: prehistory, as far back as 3500 B.C. Salamander (the main character) and his simple but powerful view of the world stayed with me long after I read the last page.I can't wait to read the others in this series!

  • Avis Gill
    2019-02-20 06:05

    Loved this book! The details and story line makes you feel as if you're witnessing all the happenings in these people's life. I would recommend reading this fascinating series to anyone who loves historical fiction.

  • Shelley Upchurch
    2019-01-23 08:29

    At the end of the book I was crying, Very good book about how they had lived back then. And I did not have to jump back and forth between the Archeologist story and the Prehistoric Native American story. Thank God!

  • Farhana Faruq
    2019-02-16 09:13

    Like all the 'People' series I've read so far this one was just as fascinating!

  • Valerie
    2019-01-27 05:33

    I liked the first few of this series that I read, but they quickly became formulaic.

  • Carlla
    2019-02-11 09:16

    was ok.

  • Louie Haltom
    2019-01-30 06:22

    mound dweller's

  • Beckyhardesty
    2019-02-14 04:17

    great series

  • Donna Oberdorf
    2019-02-20 09:08

    I lived near this place, and it was very interesting to read about how it used to look. For those who like history, very informative with a great story. I have always loved the Gear's books.