Thursday, April 3, 2008

Daughter of the Sun by Barbara Wood

Daughter of the Sun
Barbara Wood, St. Martin's Griffin, 2007, $13.95 U.S./$16.95 CDN, Trade Paperback, 464 pages, ISBN: 0-312-36368-0

In the Pre-Columbian times (later to become known as New Mexico) a young seventeen year old woman named Hoshi'tiwa is a gifted potter of rain jars. The daughter of a corn-grower, she is deeply in love and betrothed to Ahote, the son of the village storyteller.

Center Place, a wealthy town ruled by the violent Toltec tribe, is suffering through a severe drought. Their leader, the powerful and violent Lord Jakal, learns of her skill in creating beautiful jars that bring rain from the sky and orders her captured and brought to him. In this strange new town of incredible riches, Hoshi'tiwa must learn to adapt to a new way of living while harboring the memories of her clan and lover, Ahote. She garners the attention of Lord Jakal who becomes strongly attracted to her and a rich young woman named Lady White Orchid, who wants to marry Jakal herself and plots great harm to Hoshi'tiwa.

Xikli, captain of the elite Jaguar military unit, will do anything to gain power and usurp Lord Jakal. He sets his eyes on Lady White Orchid because if he marries her, it will bring him political alliances and power enough to achieve his coup. Xikli disapproves of Jakal's preferential treatment of Hoshi'tiwa and he seeks to have her killed.

As Hoshi'tiwa grows into womanhood, she rises to power all on her own merit and skill and becomes a leader.

Barbara Wood weaves a wonderfully complex tale with plot twists that will keep reading and reading. This novel has it all, adventure, murder, and unrequited love in a time of pagan gods and human sacrifices. It is a story of struggle and survival and the power of a woman to overcome. I would recommend this book to anyone who wishes to read a book about an exotic time period in history.

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