Ballantine One World
On Sale: June 27, 2006
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Thirty thousand years ago, in the heart of the African
continent and in the shadow of the largest freestanding
mountain in the world, lived the Ibandi. For countless
generations they nurtured their ancient tradition, and met
survival’s daily struggle with quiet faith in their gods.
But when brutal intruders arrived from the south, a few
brave souls dared the ultimate quest–to climb the Great
Mountain, seeking answers and a way into the future.
In this breathtaking blend of imagination, anthropology, and
sheer storytelling magic, Steven Barnes takes us to the foot
of Mount Kilimanjaro and into the realm of our own
ancestors, who lived, hunted, celebrated, and died side by
side with roaming herds of wild animals and great golden
clouds of migrating butterflies. A people whose skin was the
color and smell of the earth itself, the Ibandi formed a
hierarchy based on strength of limb and spirit. In this
extraordinary novel, we follow the adventures of two of the
Ibandi’s chosen ones: T’Cori, an abandoned girl raised by
the powerful and mysterious medicine woman Stillshadow, and
Frog Hopping, a boy possessing a gift that is also a curse.
Though the live in different encampments, Frog and T’Cori
are linked through the revered and powerful Stillshadow, who
has sensed in them a destiny apart from others’.
Through the years, and on their separate life paths,
T’Cori’s and Frog’s fates entwine as an inevitable disaster
approaches from the south–from the very god they worship.
For as long as there have been mountain, sky, and savannah,
there has been a home for the Ibandi. Now, in the face of an
enemy beyond anything spoken of even in legend, they must
ask their god face-to-face: Do we remain or do we depart?
Great Sky Woman not only brings to life the world of
prehistoric man but also shines a brilliant light on
humanity itself. For here is a story of rivalries and
alliances, of human fear and desire, of faith and betrayal .
. . and, above all, a story of how primitive man, without
words or machines, set in motion civilization’s long,
winding journey to the present.
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