Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Maya Lord by John Coe Robbins

Gonzalo -shipwrecked in a violent storm in 1511, he finds himself cast away on an unknown shore in the New World. A fierce tribe enslaves him and the other Spaniards in his small party. With little hope for escape, this brilliant and pragmatic adventurer searches for a way to advance in a strange new culture. Ix Zazil -the spirited and independent daughter of a powerful chieftain, she finds herself surprisingly drawn to the strange foreigner who has been thrust into her life from another world. Jeronimo -lost in the shipwreck with Gonzalo, this uncompromising priest rejects Maya ways, holds fast to his beliefs and remains a slave. Like his fellow survivor, he is convinced he is the better man for his choice. Based on actual people and events, this exotic historical novel follows these driven characters as they chart conflicting courses through a tumultuous world unlike anything they could ever have imagined.

Early in the 16th century a terrible storm sinks a ship. A boatload of survivors are set adrift in a boat until they reach land on the Yucatan Peninsula. Immediately upon landing, they are greeted by a group of Maya warriors. They are captured and several of the men, the leaders in the group, are offered as human sacrifices. As the boatload of survivors slowly dies off, the strongest of them escape. This time, they encounter friendly Mayans and are incorporated into their world as slaves. Soon, only two of the survivors are still alive – Father Jeronimo, a Dominican priest, and Gonzalo Guerrero, a Spanish warrior. Father Jeronimo clings to his faith and struggles to convert his captors to Christianity. At the same time, Gonzalo Guerrero proves himself in war fare and assimilates into the Mayan culture. 

This novel is a fascinating study into the ancient Mayan culture. It delves deep into the character of the two men – their different choices and life paths. The story is not for the faint of heart; it accurately and boldly depicts human sacrifices and other brutal practices and beliefs. The book will hold your interest to the end. A very fascinating read!