Regular price: $27.97
Buy Now with 1 Credit
Buy Now for $27.97
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.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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.