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Publisher's Summary

Seventeen-year-old Hoshi'tiwa had a simple life. The daughter of a humble corn grower, she planned to marry a storyteller's apprentice. But her world is turned upside down when she is captured by the powerful and violent ruler of an infamous city with legends of untold wealth and unspeakable acts of violence to its name. Hoshi'tiwa is suddenly thrown into the court of the Dark Lord, and as she struggles for power, she begins an illicit affair with the one man who has the ability to destroy her.
Best-selling author Barbara Wood has crafted a sweeping saga of one woman's struggle to survive within the dangerous and exotic world of the Toltec court. Set against the backdrop of Chaco Canyon and the mysterious Anasazi people, Daughter of the Sun is an unforgettable novel of power, seduction, murder, and betrayal.
©2007 Barbara Wood (P)2017 Cherry Hill Publishing, LLC
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Critic Reviews

"Wood spins a passionate, well-crafted tale of forbidden love that evokes a time and place that exist as much in myth as fact. The prolific and bestselling Wood (The Blessing Stone) explores life in the pre-Columbian Americas in this evocative historical romance. Hoshi'tiwa, a beautiful and gifted young Aztec potter of rain jars, is violently uprooted from her village by the dominant Toltec tribe and taken to Center Place, a distant trade and administrative hub suffering through a severe drought. Charged with making a jar that will bring rain to the Toltecs, Hoshi'tiwa captivates her captors: even Lord Jakál, the Toltec leader, finds himself drawn to her. Others feel threatened and plot to eliminate her: Lady White Orchid, a wealthy and influential aristocrat, hopes to marry Jakál herself. Xikli, captain of the elite Jaguar military unit, hopes to use the drought to stage a coup. As Hoshi'tiwa struggles with conflicted feelings for Jakál, she undertakes an arduous journey of discovery. Wood spins a passionate, well-crafted tale of forbidden love that evokes a time and place that exist as much in myth as fact." (Publishers Weekly)
"The ancient Aztec and Toltec civilizations lie at the heart of Wood's engaging historical romance, set near Chaco Canyon during years of debilitating drought. Hoshi'tiwa, a young and talented potter famous for her rain jars, is summoned from her Aztec village to a 'massive stone complex' built by the Toltecs, the People of the Sun, home to hundreds of families who are tended to by Aztec slaves like Hoshi'tiwa herself. She is told she must create jars that will entice the gods to bring forth rain by the Summer Solstice, and that her life depends on her success. Jakal, the all-powerful Dark Lord, is intrigued by Hoshi'tiwa's independent spirit, and believes she is a messenger from the gods. He grants her special privileges, leading to jealousy among the ranks, and conspiracies against them both. Woods has packed her saga with religious celebrations, brutal executions, and the myriads of superstitions ruling the everyday lives of these ancient peoples, creating not just a compelling romance, but a fascinating look at civilizations whose sudden disappearance remains a mystery." (Booklist)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Bel on 05-20-17

A powerful woman

When I discovered this book on the ‚Up for Adoption‘ page of Audiobookworm Promotion, I absolutely had to listen to it. I remembered having devoured another novel (Virgins of Paradise) by Barbara Wood many years ago, and I remembered how fascinated I had been, even though my memory of the plot is hazy. So, I didn’t even read the summary, hence I didn’t know what to expect.

Let me tell you, this is a great story that made me think. I wondered about the old religions and beliefs, asking myself whether they weren’t preferable to today’s religions. But my first impression of a peaceful religion was soon shattered, because, as is so often the case, those believing in cruel deeds to please their gods oppress all the others.

What puzzled me, was the focus on female virginity before marriage, and the idea that they were makai-yó (outcasts) if they were found out. Somehow, I had always connected this anti-female behaviour with Christendom. However, the book seems extremely well researched, and whether or not this virginity thing is due to poetic licence or actually took place, it doesn’t really matter to me — although it does matter to our main protagonist, Hoshi’tiwa, whose life takes a turn for the worse when she is claimed by the Dark Lord — from then on, she is makai-yó.

This book contains everything you could wish for, especially a lot of information about the religious beliefs, rites, traditions, clothing, food, drink, and daily life of the Toltecs shortly before they perished. All this information isn’t easily found on the www, so much about these people is still shrouded in myth, with few facts known.

Barbara Wood masterfully crafts an engaging story that you won’t want to put down. It is great that this novel is now available as audio book, and the narrator, Rebecca Roberts, does a fantastic job at narrating it. Her voice in my head was never obtrusive, she simply drew me in, and I was there, on center green, seeing it all before me, suffering with the slaves, connecting with Jakál even.

There is only one character who is truly ugly inside and out, all the others have many facets, and though you may not like them, you can understand them.

The combination of a great story and a wonderful narration makes for a very enjoyable 15.5 hours of listening time.

As mentioned above, I received this audiobook at no-cost from Audiobookworm Promotions. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

By Mary on 10-13-17

Pre-Columbian Mesoamerican Tale

Historical Fiction is my favorite genre and this novel was a bit different. The novel takes place in the 1100's southern New Mexico and Mexico. There are not many novels from this time era and geographic era.

The story features a strong intelligent heroine, Hoshi'tiwa and her star crossed love with a the ruling and feared "dark lord" Jakal.

As gruesome as Jakal may be he has compassion and a conscious that his rival Xikli, the general of the Jagar military lacks in his quest for power and plans to overthrow Jakal. Jakel worships a peaceful sun god, a god of peace, a bearded white god who will some day return from the Eastern seas. His god does not demand human sacrifices, however Jakal also acknowledges and respects the other gods that do thirst for human blood. So under Jakel there are gruesome human sacrifices, but only as much as Jakal feels that are necessary to satisfy the gods' thirst and to keep the world in balance.

In contrast, Jakel's sadistic rival Xikli's god is the god of war who has an insatiable thirst for human blood. Xikli yearns for ultimate power and does not respect Jakel, whom he sees as week. Xikli, plots and schemes often secretly defying Jakal's order's, such as making unauthorized human sacrifices.

The region is in a severe drought, and Jakal hears of a skilled potter, Hoshi'tiwa, who is the maker of beautiful rain jars. Rain jars collect the rain and they need to be unique and beautiful to entice the gods to send rain to fill the jars. Hoshi'tiwa is kidnapped from her village and brought to the capital city by Xikli on orders from Jakal to make rain jars. Xikli lies to the people of Hoshi'tiwa's village telling the villagers that Hoshi'tiwa is being abducted to be Jakal's mistress. By not telling the truth, Hoshi'tiwa and her village is shamed rather than honored.

Xikli thinks it is foolish to bring Hoshi'tiwa to the capital city to make rain jars to entice the gods to send rain. Xikli insists that Hoshi'tiwa as well as more other humans be sacrificed until the gods' thirst is quenched, and then the rains will come. He thinks Jakal's plans to bring Hoshi'tiwa to the capital city to make rain jars is silly and foolish and shows weakness.

Hoshi'tiwa matures from a naive girl into a strong intelligent heroine and advisor to Jakal.

Jakal is a classical ancient Greek type hero. A noble tragic hero.

If one is in the mood for a somewhat different historical novel, with elements of a ancient tragic Greek drama, then this book is good choice.

The narration is well done, clearly read and intoned.

I received this audiobook at no-cost from Audiobookworm Promotions. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

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