My Rating: 5 Stars
An absolutely brilliant plot: mesmerizing narrative and gripping from page one.
What if the ancient Aztec civilization survived the trial of time and still existed today? In a world of stone pyramids and wild parties, the old traditions prevailed and the belief that a blood sacrifice is needed for the sun to rise is still practiced like clockwork. This is the reality that Maya lives in. She is the daughter of an upper-class family that spends her time partying with her friends and the man that claimed her as his wife. Her life is turned upside down when she gets kidnapped by a group of rebels that want to put an end to the theocratic regime. Maya learns that everything she has been told in her life is a lie and that the sun will rise with or without a human sacrifice. Will she join in the rebellion to save the people or will she be the next offering to the gods?
A brilliant novel that I will re-read many times over.
The storyline is solid, well-structured and consistent. It’s very rich in historical facts and they are slowly revealed through the novel, so it doesn’t overwhelm the reader with information.
The pace builds up very nicely in the beginning and then it's complete non-stop with action, filled with twists that make the story impossible to predict and pure adventure. This world is so well created that it seems like it actually took place. It was a breath of fresh air to read more about Mayan culture, their cults and rituals since it’s a story of a civilization that I know little about. Val Bodurtha presents a deep knowledge on the subject and presents it beautifully. Not only that, but it also shows a knowledge of politics and religion and how society promotes equality but in the end, it’s structured, my classes. The Aztec society is built by the elite and the ones that aren’t. Unfortunately for the peasants, that title comes with a deadline as a sacrifice is needed to gain the favour of the sun deities.
The characters are very well characterized and they truly seem to come out of the pages. They are flawed with moments of arrogance, ignorance but also courage and growth. Maya, the female protagonist, is a spoiled brat at the beginning of the story, she doesn’t care about anyone but herself and her inability to see through her own circle is annoying. But, I’m glad to say, she improves throughout the novel and actually becomes a mature young woman, driven by the need to help others and change the course of so many lives that were meant for a short life-span. The main male lead is Tezca and he is the definition of a fearless warrior. He leads the rebel group, organizes raids and builds the plans to overtake the theocratic ‘government’. He definitely adds energy to the plot and his intelligence makes the plot more believable and solid. The secondary characters are just as important and they give the support that changes the course of a few occurrences during the adventure.
Even though this book is classified as YA, I recommend it to all audiences. It has some juvenile moments but the storyline is brilliant and it’s very different from any setting the reader may encounter. It definitely deserves all its 5 stars.
I want to thank Lanier Press and the author Val Bodurtha for reaching out and sending me a paperback of her novel in exchange for an honest review.
Hope you find an idea for your next reading here.