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Mixcatl, a young woman abducted from her people, rises in the Aztec priesthood, until her true, magical nature is revealed and she leads a revolt toppling the vicious Aztec Regime
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Rather ponderous historical fantasy set in the Aztec empire before the advent of Columbus: from the author of People of the sky (1989). Young slave girl Mixcatl, abducted from her eastern jungle home when a toddler, evinces a rare talent for painting, so the scribes of the ruling Aztec city Tenochtitlan set her to copying ancient texts and glyphs, while also attempting to instill in her the elements of their religion--which involves vast, bloody sacrifices to the warrior-god Hummmingbird on the Left. But Mixcatl suspects herself to be different from other folk: she has preternaturally sharp senses, an ability to animate dead jaguar skins and claws, and a disturbing tendency to change her shape, as if something within her body was attempting to emerge. In the rival but independent city of Tezcotzinco, meanwhile, the gentle Speaker- King, Wise Coyote, desperately searches for a means to retain his independence in the face of the implacably expansionist Tenochtitlan. From the old scribe Nine-Lizard, Wise Coyote learns of the ancient Olmec magicians and their half-jaguar, half-human rulers, and wonder whether Mixcatl is not one such, and whether he can use her to destroy the revolting Hummingbird cult. If, for instance, he could persuade Mixcatl to transform herself into a jaguar in full view of the people, Hummingbird would be discredited. Reasonably rewarding as regards Aztec culture and environment, but thinly plotted and too long by half. Worth a try for historical-fantasy regulars. -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.From Publishers Weekly:
Mysticism, shape-changing, art and brutal religiosity are melded in this vivid tale of a seldom-plumbed time and place--the Aztec Empire at its height, before the arrival of European invaders. With a deep sense of time and place, Bell ( People of the Sky ) tells of the girl-child Mixcatl, stolen from her jungle village and bound into slavery in the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan at the age of six, where she labors as a menial at a priests' school until her talent for art brings her the chance to apprentice as a scribe. Her destiny changes when Wise Coyote, tlatoani (Speaker King) of the client state Texcoco, learns that Mixcatl is a member of the clan called the Jaguar's Children, fabled rulers from a distant time. As Wise Coyote tries to use Mixcatl's as yet unrevealed talent as a shape-changer in his struggle against the Aztec king Ilhuicamina, whose sacrifices to the god Hummingbird on the Left grow vaster and deadlier every year, the girl attempts to control her growing powers while developing a gentle love for his son, the artist Huetzin. Drawing on unusual and powerful symbols, Bell brings a vanished civilization to life in this unusual fantasy.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Tor Books, 1993. Hardcover. Condition: New. Seller Inventory # DADAX0312856733
Book Description Tor Books. Hardcover. Condition: New. 0312856733 Please allow 4 - 14 business days for Standard shipping, within the US. Seller Inventory # XM-0312856733
Book Description Tor Books, 1993. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0312856733
Book Description Condition: New. New. Seller Inventory # STRM-0312856733
Book Description Tor Books, 1993. Hardcover. Condition: New. Never used!. Seller Inventory # P110312856733
Book Description Condition: New. New. Seller Inventory # STR-0312856733
Book Description Tor Books. Hardcover. Condition: New. 0312856733 New Condition. Seller Inventory # NEW99.1057649