In the Incan Empire immediately before the Spanish conquest, Nighthawk, the stonecutter’s son who loves the silversmith’s daughter, is swept up in the civil strife preceding the collapse of the empire. The personal losses of the characters reflect the greater tragedies of the people as a whole. Even in this regimented society, men like the stonecutter do not always accept without resentment the strictures of the Inca and the tribute he demands in beautiful girls to fill the House of the Virgins. Before Pizarro’s arrival in Peru, stonecutter Rumi labors on the Incan palaces and temples. He hopes his son Nighthawk will also achieve distinction in the craft, but he fears his beautiful daughter Amankay will be appropriated for service in the House of Virgins. Service to the empire never ends. After toiling nine years in Cuzco and in the Sacred Valley, the Inca orders the stonecutter’s clan to resettle in the Tarma Valley where their fortunes mingle with that of the silversmith’s family. In contrast to Rumi, the silversmith welcomes his daughter Illariy’s selection as a Virgin of the Sun. Rivalry develops between Nighthawk and Illariy’s brother. A boastful bully, Wanquar yearns for war instead of a silversmith’s life. The young men will participate in the bloody conflict between the two rivals for the Incan throne before the fateful arrival of the Spanish conquerors. Throughout the horrors he witnesses Nighthawk draws strength from the stone that speaks to his soul. Voice of Stone, a captivating story that completely submerges the reader into Inca lore, is told from the viewpoint of the artisans who created the wonders of the Inca Empire and who owed their lives, their children and their labor to the Son of the Sun. The next book in the trilogy, Conquistadora, covers the conquest to the death of the last Inca, 1532-1571. The final book, Daughter of the Conquest, covers the period of colonization and conversion to Christianity.
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Olivia Diamond books of poetry include: Women at the Well, Land of the Four Quarters: A Poetic History of the Incas, Be Thou A Man: A Poetic Tribute to Saul Alinsky, Please Trespass Here, Playground and Geography of My Bones: Collected Poems. Her novels include The Wheels of Being, Delayed Reaction, The Pluperfect Phantom, Gardens Under Which Rivers Flow, and Gerontion and the Maiden. Her trilogy (Voice of Stone, Conquistadora, and Daughter of the Conquest) dramatizes the story of the Inca Empire from the period immediately before Francisco Pizarro’s arrival through the Spanish conquest and colonization of Peru. Her roots are in Illinois, but she now makes her home in northwestern Montana.
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