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Publisher's Summary

This magnificent novel by one of America's finest writers is the epic of one man's remarkable journey, set in 19th-century America against the background of a vanishing people and a rich way of life.

At the age of 12, under the Wind Moon, Will is given a horse, a key, and a map, and sent alone into the Indian Nation to run a trading post as a bound boy. It is during this time that he grows into a man, learning, as he does, of the raw power it takes to create a life, to find a home. In a card game with a white Indian named Featherstone, Will wins, for a brief moment, a mysterious girl named Claire, and his passion and desire for her spans this novel.

As Will's destiny intertwines with the fate of the Cherokee Indians, including a Cherokee chief named Bear, he learns how to fight and survive in the face of both nature and man. Eventually, under the Corn Tassel Moon, Will begins the fight against Washington to preserve the Cherokee's homeland and culture. And he comes to know the truth behind his belief that "only desire trumps time".

Brilliantly imagined, written with great power and beauty by a master of American fiction, Thirteen Moons is a stunning novel about a man's passion for a woman, and how loss, longing, and love can shape a man's destiny over the many moons of a life.

Don't miss Charles Frazier's debut novel, Cold Mountain.
©2006 3 Crows Corporation; (P)2006 Random House, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"A bountiful literary panorama....The history that Frazier hauntingly unwinds through Will is as melodic as it is melancholy, but the sublime love story is the narrative's true heart." (Publishers Weekly)

What members say

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  • Overall

A fascinating, great epic tale

While different from Cold Mtn, 13 Moons is a great tale of love and honor. I listened to the last 6 hours of it virtually non-stop, I was so taken with it. It's a fascinating story of the south's Indian's (Cherokee, primarily) and pre-Civil War politics that is little heard. Contrary to the other reviewer, I thought the reader was excellent.

29 of 29 people found this review helpful

  • Overall


An absolutely compelling novel, so rich in characters and in descriptions of the land. Frazier's use of language is breathtaking and his characterizations are alive. Love story, adventure, hero's journey, tragic history - all come alive in Frazier's narrative. And Will, the protagonist, and Will, the narrator, are made for each other. The southern accent and phrasing are just right! Don't miss this remarkable performance.

16 of 16 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Thomas
  • Long Beach, CA, United States
  • 10-23-06

Best Novel of 2006!

Every year or so, I find a novel that so engages me that I can't put it down and feel a certain sadness as the end of the story draws near -- like knowing you will be leaving a good friend soon and you want to make the best of every remaining moment. This novel is it! You will be transported into a life well lived and a story told without unnecessary sentimentality but with the kind of passion that drives a person to make a difference. Buy this book!

26 of 27 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • AA
  • Rocklin, CA United States
  • 02-28-09

Like going home

As a native of western North Carolina, reading Thirteen Moons was like a trip home. I could see myself walking the woodland paths of my youth, smelling the earthy odors of wet moss and crushed evergreens, and hearing the crackle of oak leaves underfoot. I heard the voice of my elders, speaking in a different time and place, when life moved at a slower pace.

Thirteen Moons left me homesick for youth and my beloved mountains. It left me yearning for Will Patten's voice. It made me book a flight home.

It's on the top of my "recommended reading" list.

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

A Darn Good Story

Frazier can turn a phrase with the best authors. The world he paints jumps off the page and lives in the reader's mind. Most of the characters are well fleshed out -- with the exception of Claire, whose motivations and emotions remained obscure. Her lack of dimension would be my only criticism of this book.

His depiction of this era in American history, and the viewpoint from it's written, make for engaging reading. The narrator was just about perfect as Will Cooper. I even liked the music; usually I find it distracting as with the Patterson books, but this added a nice touch. I highly recommend this audiobook.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Amazing storytelling

If you care about good storytelling grab this book right now as there is nothing better out there. It's amazingly good storytelling, with wonderful bitter-sweet story in entirely enjoyable language with few pinch of good humor here and there.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Begs to be listened to

I loved it. Great narration, poetic writing, terrific story - sent me to Google to learn more about the Cherokee removal, and the Nation. I looked at the "real" book at Borders to check some spellings, and it struck me that I don't think I would have liked it so much on paper, as by ear. Have fun!!

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Sydell
  • Sacramento, CA, USA
  • 01-07-08


This is a great book. It was powerful and engaging. The narration is superb

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Evocative and Transporting

I am amazed at some of the previous reviews. To say that this story is anything other than transending is incredible to me. The story needs to be sipped and listened to without relation to time. I sometimes believe that we are all to caught up with the fast pace of life and we cannot appreciate the beauty of such an elegant and evocative story. The prose is haunting and the characters become part of your imagination in a nearly holographic way. Mr. Frazier allows you to be transported to another time and reality- a reality where you see the characters in your mind and believe in their realness. If you allow yourself to be ensconced in a wonderful story, and have the ability to drone out our all too hurried world, then you are ready to enjoy a remarkable journey when listening to Thirteen Moons!

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Martha
  • Edmond, OK, USA
  • 10-27-06

A good history lesson

Having grown up in the mountains of western North Carolina, I was especially enthralled with this novel. Not only was it a great novel, but it was also history of North Carolina. Cold Mountain was a great book. However, I must say this one surpasses it by far. I hope it will become a movie also.

18 of 22 people found this review helpful