Serpent and Storm

Marella Sands, Author
Marella Sands, Author Forge $24.95 (352p) ISBN 978-0-312-86127-8
Reviewed on: 03/01/1999
Release date: 03/01/1999
Mass Market Paperbound - 351 pages - 978-0-8125-7765-5
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Her strong sequel to Sky Knife will bring Sands's readers back into the fascinating realm of Mayan culture and folklore. Itzamma, god of the Mayan City Tikal, has sent his chief priest, Sky Knife, on a mystical journey to the center of the world to solve the murder of Tattooed Serpent, King of Teotihuacan. With only his ""Hand of God"" knife as protector and spiritual amulet, Sky Knife encounters the world of the Teotihuacanos: a city where poverty, treachery, polyandry, greed, sensuality and opulence abound. Arriving on the day of the king's puzzling death, Sky Knife is asked by the king's widow, Jaguar's Daughter, not only to protect her son, the heir, but also to find the murderer. Trekking through colorful marketplaces and back alleys full of intrigue, Sky Knife slowly unravels (through common sense, good luck and the power of Itzamma) the truth behind the regicide. When only four days remain before Black Coyote can ascend the Royal Mat, the future king is kidnapped, and Sky Knife must risk violating the sacred womb/cave of the Masked One, holy goddess of Teotihuacan, to rescue him. Sands's knowledge of Mayan ritual is impressive, and she spins a good story. A banquet of imaginative characters--Sky Knife's brave battalion of friends include a prostitute, a hustler and a dwarf--enliven this engaging tale. (Apr.)
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