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on 15 February 2000
A true beauty. This novel magically weaves the link between fantasy and our "reality". A true beauty. To be honest I didn't expect the novel to be that good. It looked to me to be another new age, crystals and horror scopes type setting. But upon reading I discovered the errors of my judgements. The author displays an understanding of many worlds, from that of arcane magic and shamanism to practical community planning and biology. A gifted writer who succedes in her prowess as a communicator. Thank you.
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on 6 July 2000
Instead of the "doom and gloom" stories of science fiction, or the "wonder" type, this book accepts the faults in the human race and the legacy this has created for the Earth, and examines an obtainable way forward, through community and respect for the Earth in her four manifestations. Beautifully written, thought-provoking, amazing book.
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on 26 May 2008
An inspiring and thought provoking book that explores a possible scenario of a post industrial collapse/ peak oil / climate change society. One of the few people who have come up with a positive vision for that future while contrasting it with a horrific extrapolation of the way we operate now. At the beginning I worried that it was going to be too new-agey for me but after the first few pages I was gripped and couldn't put it down. Very enjoyable and definitely recommended.
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on 8 December 2008
Incredible. Such a powerful book written with both elegance and brutality, when it comes to seeing both sides of war and pacifism. Very good ending as well, always a bonus to a book you can't stop reading.
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on 19 April 2003
Amazing. It sounds dramatic but, this book changed the way I looked at life!
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on 5 January 2016
This is a book to read and read again ----if you can get it back from all the friends you've lent it to! Absolutely brilliant, though also quite scary in that the things protrayed in this fictitious world are all too recognisable in our own. Its one of those books that changes the way one looks at the world ever after. A real treasure of a book, written with depth of understanding of human nature and society, and compassion, it offers no easy answers, yet does not leave a dark taste in the mouth. Would give it six stars if I could!
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on 26 May 2010
A wonderful book. Not often I read fiction but I'm so glad I read this one. Just couldn't put it down once I started reading it!
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on 29 January 2014
This is the second book by Starhawk that I've read and I couldn't put it down. Her style is both easy to read, it just flows, but it is also un- put-down- able! She tells the story of civilisation as it survives after near world melt down. There are the goodies and the baddies but nothing is stereo typed. Within the good camp,there are petty and not so petty jealousies and rivalry, bad decisions and characters with all their flaws that we can relate to on both emotional and psychological levels . And the baddies have the same mix, some bent on world dominance and totalitarian rule with all the perversions and cruelty, not to mention terrifying genetic modification to dehumanise their victims; but here are also those who doubt this system and ask 'what if ?' And maybe there is another way. There is hope and despair, love and heartbreak and joyful sex, abuse and torture, and an amazing portrayal of future possibilities for healing ourselves and our world. A brilliant read, ignore the awful cover, that I will go back to again and again. An inspiration on every level . If you are concerned about the future of our planet, our civilisation, GM science, and any other serious topic of the last 60 years you will not be disappointed by this novel. Her sensitive yet realistic grasp of how relations within families, couples and communities work and evolve or fail is brilliant. Her handling of sexual mores and sex even in very old age is interesting and gently done. A book that can be read on many levels. Just as science fiction or as a possible blue print to learn from and take on board. Her characterisation is very good and complex and at every stage it will help you see life with its joys and horrors from new perspectives. I would thoroughly recommend it to be read again and again,
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on 21 February 2014
The Fifth Sacred Thing, Starhawk's first novel - perhaps more pertinent now than ever before.
A powerful tale of a community without poverty, hunger, or hatred, rich in diversity of culture, race, religion and sexual orientation, honouring the Four Sacred Things that sustain life – Earth, Air, Fire and Water – above all. In this context nurturing the Fifth sacred thing which is Spirit, the Earths, theirs, yours and ours.

Against this community, the sociopathic Stewards from the militaristic state to the north: a nightmare place where a totalitarian regime polices a corrupt apartheid state. With their psuedo religious oppression and control of water for profit, of medicines to make people obey the party line, intent on ravaging the communities resources (forests they have planted and nurtured, rivers they have cleansed, farmlands they have tended) and enslaving their people.

How can the community, which doesn’t believe in violence, defend themselves? Two cultures clash and the outcome rests on the wisdom and courage of the community and particularly in the strength and vision of the extraordinary Priestess Maya. An inspirational novel about love and war, freedom and slavery, and the future of the living planet. Set in a not too distant future but feeling ever more like modern times, a recommended read for all who have a heart and care to live by its guidance.
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on 13 August 2015
Profound novel that gets across the essence of permaculture and the value of community who chose to invest in becoming resilient and self sustaining versus spending on weapons. Love the idea that they overcome the odds by loving not fighting the oppressors. Starhawk has excelled herself imbuing spiritual material from diverse religions and belief systems as well as drawing believable and endearing characters. A perfect and powerful allegory.. Can't wait for the movie.
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