A shipwrecked prince on a foreign shore and a young princess coming into her powers battle dark forces that would destroy her kingdom and their love. Nine hundred years before Columbus, a sailor with a mystical map and a vision of a glorious destiny is shipwrecked on the far side of the world. A prince of Visigothic Spain, Iudila finds his match in Chakin, daughter of a Mayan king. Can love span the gulf between them, or will they be cast apart by their different gods—or by the dark shaman who desires Chakin for himself?
My Review (Warning, spoliers):
Son of the Sea and Daughter of the Sun by Marc Grahram is a fantastic novel that keeps you immersed into the world of the Mayans and Visigoths. First of, I apperciate the hard work and effort that Marc embarked on studying Mayan Customs and language. Second, it is very rare we get books on Meso-America that are this well written. Tok-Ekh reminded me of Scar. The skillful prose, the elegant way in which Marc enhances his writing, by showing Tok-Ekh is a wonderful villain. However there were some weaknesses that can be ironed out.
I felt that Iudila’s character development grew fine, but the chemistry between him and Uti-Chan’s daughter, Chakin, needed to be a bit more developed. To that end, I also loved the language concepts, an astral plane in which these guardians, seem to ‘protect humanity’ by separating and as a reader, I’ve always wanted someone to take the stuff from Ancient Aliens, and show that the Ancient World was as globalised. Imagine if the Ancient Egyptians travelled to South-America? Awesome stuff. Marc did certainly well in this department, but Tok-Ekh’s role in this brotherhood was not clear enough, and I would have wanted more specific’s colours. I also want to know why humanity is kept separate. Many times this led me to question what was behind this reason? I loved the concept of Hebrew and Mayan being similar. Though I did feel that not enough of Iudila’s crew was used enough. I would have wanted to seen more descriptions of the Mayan cities, as they had a lot of colour.
That being said, I worked on the concept of the tribes of Israel and emigrating to the New World. Great, fantastic stuff. Something straight out of a Sci-fi show like Star-Trek. They forget their Gods, and worship new ones. But I really wanted to know about what caused and it how? There were many unanswered questions and the religious theme was great! The way these people lived in those times, religion was central. Props to the author for encouraging historical religion, and showing that it is real, especially the blending of the Mayan Religion. Though I was not under the impression that Iudila was always invoking Christ or Yahshua. That I think needed some further development. That said I did like Chakin. She was a strong woman, a very pretty lady. I think Iudila and Chakin’s chemistry certainly did work in this area. The attraction between them would have been certain since they’re royalty. Uti-Chan was one of the best characters in the novel. Much like the King of Rohan in many sense.
The majority of this novel focuses on the New World, so I would have suggested an alternative cover and a more Mayan sounding name. I would envision a dark marble background etched, when in the middle you would have a Mayan dagger, something similar to Bernard’s Cornwell covers. That said, this works fine, but this is my personal opinion.
If there is a sequel, I’d like to see how after Iudila, no one else came to the new world? There could have been others. Imagine if we had an alternate history where humanity met much earlier. Something mainstream historians don’t like ha. But I loved this novel. I loved the vivid and lush descriptions, and I wanted to see more. The dialogue was great, and if I could compare this, I would compare this to the Silk Road by Julian Stockwin. It has Byzantines travelling to China. That’s a novel you can compare it too.
I want to see a sequel, because its very rare you get a novel infused with magic, mythology and crazy stuff from Ancient Aliens, and my rating is a solid 5/5. Many thanks to Netgalley, the author and the publishing house, Blank State Press.