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The Fifth Sacred Thing

by

The Fifth Sacred Thing Cover

ISBN13: 9780553373806
ISBN10: 0553373803
All Product Details

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Imagine a world without poverty, hunger, or hatred, where a rich culture honors its diverse mix of races, religions, and heritages, and the Four Sacred Things that sustain all life — earth, air, fire, and water — are valued unconditionally. Now imagine the opposite: a nightmare world in which an authoritarian regime polices an apartheid state, access to food and water is restricted to those who obey the corrupt official religion, women are property of their husbands or the state, and children are bred for prostitution and war.

The best and worst of our possible futures are poised to clash in twenty-first-century California, and the outcome rests on the wisdom and courage of one clan caught in the conflict. Ninety-eight-year-old Maya has helped shape the ecumenical culture of the North by reviving and re-creating an earth-based spiritual tradition. Madrone, the granddaughter of Maya's longtime lovers, is a healer trying to thwart recurring epidemics that she suspects are biological warfare waged by the tyrannical South. Bird, Maya's grandson, returns from ten years in a Southern prison with warnings of impending invasion and an urgent request for help from the resistance in the hills. When Madrone travels south to aid the rebels and search for a cure to the deadly viruses, she finds herself fighting for her own life alongside battle-weary guerrillas and beautiful pirates. Meanwhile, in the North debates rage about how to repel the invaders.

"All war is first waged in the imagination, first conducted to limit our dreams and visions," Maya says, and warns that by killing their enemies, they may themselves become transformed by violence and destroy all they have built. Bird champions her alternative vision and becomes a leader of the faction calling for nonviolent resistance. When he is captured and pressured to cooperate with the enemy, the fate of the North hangs in the balance. Richly imagined and beautifully written, The Fifth Sacred Thing is a powerful novel.

Review:

"A ripping good read." Los Angeles Times Book Review

Review:

"Slated to be one of the great visionary Utopian novels of the century." Marion Zimmer Bradley

Review:

"A stunning philosophical fantasy about life in the not so distant future." Interview magazine

Review:

"Provocative and magical, political and spiritual....an extraordinary book that stands in the great tradition of political and philosophical novels." Margo Adler, author of Dancing Down the Moon

Review:

"Exciting, magical, and rich with extremely important treasure maps for those who really care about life and the survival of our planet." Merlin Stone, author of When God Was a Woman

Synopsis:

Here is an unforgettable epic that brilliantly dramatizes the choices we must make in order to insure the survial of our selves, our society, and our planet. This powerful novel of ideas and the future of human life itself is written by the bestselling author of The Spiral Dance.

Synopsis:

US

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 4 comments:

Christin, August 24, 2012 (view all comments by Christin)
This is a very dense, interesting book with a lot to say. I'm glad I read it. You can read this story on two levels (individually or both at the same time, it's up to you), so I'll talk about them seperately just for the purposes of this review.

1) The Plot/Story: If you're a fan of distopian stories, you should definitely read this. It's a fascinating look at our country after it suffers a political/religious upheaval and ecological disasters. The solutions to these problems sought by the protagonists don't follow either the glorification of technology or the rejection of it many distopian stories take. I find the rise of the theocracy based in Angel City super creepy and just way too believable for comfort. The pace drags in places and the story could have been tightened up a bit, my own cynicism made it pretty hard for me to find certain parts involving the extreme effectiveness of non-violent protests believable, but overall I found the book engaging and interesting.

2) The Message: If you're a Pagan of any kind, follower of an Earth-centered religion, follower of any kind of "spiritual but not religious" path, or are just interested in reading about any of those things, you should also read this book. I've read some of Starhawk's other non-fiction works and attended a talk she gave at my university, so I could definitely see this book as her trying to show what a society that functions with the kinds of spiritual and political beliefs she promotes might look like. I myself don't agree with her entirely on either subject, but it's not really necessary to wholely believe in it in order to get something out of the book. Reading parts that I found a bit unbelievable (the afore mentioned usefulness of complete non-violence against zelots with guns for instance) or parts that I didn't feel would be really useful in real life (banishing people to live outside the community instead of prisons, for instance) just got me to think and clarify what I believed and what I might do instead. That's useful.

Overall, I think this is a worthwhile book.
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robinjfriedman, August 4, 2012 (view all comments by robinjfriedman)
Read this book 15 years ago and it seemed so far from the realm of possibilities. Now it seems fully prophetic! Starhawk is making a movie ofthis book. Very timely! Great read!
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Mayer, September 13, 2009 (view all comments by Mayer)
This is one of the All-time Great alternate universe novels
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View all 4 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9780553373806
Author:
Starhawk
Publisher:
Bantam
Location:
New York :
Subject:
General
Subject:
California
Subject:
Fiction
Subject:
Visionary & metaphysical
Subject:
Utopias
Subject:
Dystopias
Subject:
California Fiction.
Subject:
New Age x
Subject:
Utopian fiction
Subject:
New Age
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Subject:
Occult
Edition Number:
1
Edition Description:
Bantom trade paperback ed.
Series Volume:
241.
Publication Date:
19940631
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
496
Dimensions:
9.22x6.11x1.24 in. 1.18 lbs.
Age Level:
New Age

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Related Subjects


Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Science Fiction and Fantasy » A to Z
Metaphysics » Magic Witchcraft and Paganism

The Fifth Sacred Thing New Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$17.00 In Stock
Product details 496 pages Bantam Books - English 9780553373806 Reviews:
"Review" by , "A ripping good read."
"Review" by , "Slated to be one of the great visionary Utopian novels of the century."
"Review" by , "A stunning philosophical fantasy about life in the not so distant future."
"Review" by , "Provocative and magical, political and spiritual....an extraordinary book that stands in the great tradition of political and philosophical novels."
"Review" by , "Exciting, magical, and rich with extremely important treasure maps for those who really care about life and the survival of our planet."
"Synopsis" by , Here is an unforgettable epic that brilliantly dramatizes the choices we must make in order to insure the survial of our selves, our society, and our planet. This powerful novel of ideas and the future of human life itself is written by the bestselling author of The Spiral Dance.
"Synopsis" by , US
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