In the Courts of the Sun (Jed de Landa, #1)
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In the Courts of the Sun (Jed de Landa #1)

3.34 of 5 stars 3.34  ·  rating details  ·  643 ratings  ·  164 reviews
Dutton, New York, 2009. Hardcover. Book Condition: Very Good+. Dust Jacket Condition: As New. First Edition. There is a one inch black remainder mark on the bottom edge of the pages. This book is the first in the Sacrifice Game Trilogy and it is 684 pages. This is a thriller about the Mayan prophecy.
Hardcover, 684 pages
Published March 26th 2009 by Dutton Adult (first published 2009)
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Community Reviews

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Carol
I bought this book on a friend's recommendation. I owe you, Jane.
I was captured by the first page my interest never flagged. Though it has a whopping 684 pages (including maps and a glossary), I would have gladly kept reading for another 600-plus pages. True, I was already fascinated with the ancient Mayan civilization, and that can’t hurt.
The story takes the reader between 2012 and 650 AD through an action/adventure that also reveals the author's scientific bent. It is a story of time trave...more
Laurie (Kwiltreader)
23 pages into the 649 page advance copy and I was done. It starts with a futuristic man’s mind transported back into the mind and body of a Mayan. It’s based on the premise that the Mayan calendar ends in 2012 and supposedly, so does life as we know it. After 23 pages of symbolism and rituals, I was so confused that I had no desire to continue. This was a free copy so will hold onto it and maybe try again at another time. But I only have til 2012. Again, so many books, so little time.

Jeromy
--some small spoilers--

I couldn't put this book down through most of it, although getting through the ending was an effort. There was so little information transfer between Jed2 and Jed1 that they seemed like two unconnected stories once we got back to Jed1. I couldn't tell what Jed1 learned from Jed2. It didn't seem to be enough to get him over the hump. I completely failed to visualize the game play that led to the identification of the doomster.

However, I enjoyed the rest of the book a lot mo...more
Neb
Michael Crichton meets Neal Stephenson meets Frank Herbert with a Mesoamerican flavor. Good stuff about game theory and lots of fun tech in the beginning. Unfortunately, for my taste, anyway, it bogs down in the middle with an endless journey to the horrors of 6th century Mesoamerica. It's very interesting in an academic way, but the long drawn-out descriptions of every little thing, including multiple acts of violence, really killed the pacing in my opinion. It was like he was channeling Jules...more
Jim O.
Laborious read, in bad need of editing, but when I got to the ending, it blew my mind! Major cliffhanger, I think I will need to read the second book when its due to come out next year. And the end has a profound philosophical twist that stirs the mind. I didn't see it coming at all. Makes up for the sheer length, especially the endless middle section that takes place in 664 AD. Not that those parts weren't fascinating and well written in themselves, just that they could have formed a whole sepa...more
John Haverkamp
One of my most prized possessions is a book entitled 'the origin of board games in magic and divination'. D'Amoto's creation takes that thesis and runs with it, in romp through history and the near future. This is Umberto Eco not Dan Brown, or better yet - Frank Herbert not Michael Crichton. In short Courts of the Sun is thinking person's science fiction thriller of the highest caliber.

looking forward to the sequel in June? I've been bugging the author on twitter for confirmation of sequel since...more
Rachel
This had potential to be good. It was an interesting storyline (occasionally a bit too Timeline for my liking), but the author is one of those annoying hipsters who can't just tell a story. Oh no, he's got to add in all the pop culture references and anti-social epithets that modern kids who think they're Philip K. Dick use to mask their literary insecurities.
Also,at 679 pages, you'd think it would be more of a compelling story.
So, if you read quickly, are incredibly interested in the Maya cult...more
Glglgl
Der Protagonist dieses Romans ist Jed DeLanda, er stammt aus Guatemala und hat in seiner Kindheit ein mysteriöses altes Brettspiel erlernt, das von den Maya benutzt worden ist, um in die Zukunft zu blicken. Zwar beherrscht Jed dieses "Opferspiel" so gut, dass er es gewinnbringend für sich einsetzen kann, doch ist bekannt, dass die alten Maya mit dem Spiel viel weiter in mögliche Zukünfte blicken konnten. Mit dem Ende des Maya-Kalendars am 21.12.2012 sind Spekulationen über das bevorstehende Ende...more
Ana
I thought this book was pretty awful. he used a lot of Spanish --- I found much of it was incorrect; he used wrong tenses or gender & it therefore distracted from the read. He had an interesting idea but I think he blew it when he threw in Dick Cheney---it was so ridiculous. I'd advise against reading it!
Madison Meljac-lehmann
Read this book through to the end...and at times I was not sure why. There were several times when the book was too graphic and just had a few gross areas that really didn't add too much to the overall book. But I wanted to know what was going to happen. I also didn't like the way some of the scenes shifted. The end was an absolute twist and it did work with the characters. But I am not planning on reading the next book in the series because I just don't want to go there. I did enjoy the way the...more
M Lewis Hansen
The Good: I really enjoyed it. The world D'Amato created was complex and colorful, the concept was interesting, and there was a nice twist at the end.

The Bad: It was a little rambling, through, and there were sections where I felt like he was more interested in listing information about old Mayan culture than he was about moving the story forward. That made it easy to walk away from the book at a couple of points. Some of the characters were a little flat, and there were some loose ends that se...more
Amloid Mesa
Downloaded this book in audio format from library. All I can say Is wow. My mind is still warp. I can say after reading (hearing) this book. It was very slow to start and at times I thought it was taking to long to get to the point. I don't recall the exact moment I was sucked into the story but I was and it was one hell of a ride. I think I listened to the book over a year ago and couldn't wait for the sequel. After several attempts to get my library to order it, I will finally breakdown and by...more
Rose
Aug 17, 2009 Rose added it
I usually read much lighter historical fiction during the summer than this book. In the Courts of the Sun tries really hard to be serious about the history research and provides many details that are true as I have briefly researched Mayan history. The hero, Jed, is a computer geek gamer with a Mayan family background. Through adoption he ends up in a Utah family setting, and then higher education settings with lots of opportunity to search history even deeper than his family stories, which incl...more
Flannery
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Paul Amago
The extraordinary vivid recreation of the ancient Maya world is awe inspiring. If you want a fun escapist romp into an alien world, this is it. There is such lush detail about the geography, cosmology, anthropology, sociology and their world view. Just think of a culture in which human blood was the fuel that kept the universe chugging along; ferocious violence was not only commonplace, it was a necessary part of sacred living. I am assuming it is all accurate because the author mentions that he...more
Catherine
I found the concept of this book to be very intriguing and unique. I had been hoping it would quickly draw me in and not let go, but I was slightly disappointed. It took me quite a while to actually get into this book, but then once I was hooked it was hard to draw away from it.

The storyline with Jed2 was so out there and yet so good that I couldn't wait to pick it back up again. The third of the book that took place during the Maya time period As I was getting closer and closer to the end I co...more
Jen
I was so excited to read this book! It was right up my alley, with bits of that I really love to learn/read about! Action, adventure, thrills, Mayan History, Apocalyptic and prophecies... Unfortunately not! I had to read the first couple chapters a few times. I was SO lost! Granted it does start you off with some dude possessing some ancient dude and them having an internal battle, literally, of who is going to have control of the body. Really!? Then he takes you back in time leads you forever t...more
Benjamin
One thing going for Brian D’Amato’s book is that is has several intriguing concepts, one of which is the Sacrifice Game. It differs from palm reading and prophecies in that it relies more on math and knowledge of events to discover the most probable outcome. Thankfully, D’Amato provides just enough of the basics of the Game and abstracts the rest to make the story a lot more interesting.

The most fascinating part of the novel is the journey to the Maya historical period. This section is incredi...more
Joe Wisniewski
OK ... in progress review ... just started this book ... Could be one of the most bizarre starts that I have read to a book ... in a long time.

Wow, the ending, was difficult to get through, depending on what you define as the ending. I would say that this book is different from pretty much anything I have read in that the ending ... doesn't really matter all that much, except for introducing, big surprise, a sequel.

I dare say I have not read a book that had to have been harder to write in terms...more
dawn armfield
This book is set in 2012 but shifts back to the height of the Mayan culture when Teotihuacan was a booming city, then back to 2012. It is a wild rollercoaster ride that has incredible high points and very low points.

High Points
The book is well written. The language is lovely, very descriptive, and assumes the audience is both intelligent and well-read.

The artwork is gorgeous. I would have prints of some of the artwork, if I could.

The foundation of the story, trying to save the world from the 2
...more
Phlaemmle
Zuerst einmal bitte lest das Buch, hört es euch nicht an.
Der Autor vermittelt soviele Details, die bei einem nicht ganz bewussten Hören nicht aufgenommen werden können. Definitiv kein Hörbuch für "Nebenher". Leider eigentlich mein wichtigstes Merkmal für Hörbuch, dementsprechend anstrengend war es, dieses Hörbuch zu hören. Ich musste öfters mal nen Track erneut hören/den Player ausmachen/das Hörbuch wechseln, damit ich nichts verpasse.
Ich mag Maya-Endzeit-Romane, eines meiner Lieblingsbücher zu...more
Weavre
Jul 27, 2009 Weavre rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Weavre by: Osterhout display shelf
My eye landed on a big fat hardback beckoning from my library's display shelf for new fiction, and I'm glad it did.

In the Courts of the Sun turned out to be a pretty good story set both in late 2012 and ancient Mesoamerica. The basic plot sounds convoluted, and it is: a Mayan divination game he learned as a child turns out to be linked to computer predictions of catastrophe on December 21, 2012, and after a confirming disaster at Disney World, scientists manage to send an image of the protagoni...more
Julia
I actually think this book was very good.
The writing was appealing - very much as if you'd follow what a real person was thinking. It was very humerous, sometimes a little vulgar, but generally good. The main character was somewhat "special", neither one of the cool heros nor the usual, unimportant boy. I could relate to him like I could with very little other characters - he was intelligent, saw a lot of negative sides to humans and had many ways of thinking in common with me, as well as the a...more
Jason Golomb
"In the Courts of the Sun" is an interesting novel, built Frankenstein-like from the elements of a Michael Crichton techno-thriller, Gary Jennings' "Aztec" series, and one of Stephen Baxter's novel spins on time travel. I enjoyed the book, but it's uneven. The book was written by artist Brian D'Amato and is being publicized as the first of three books in a Sacrifice Game trilogy.

The story is heavily character-driven, led by Jed DeLanda, a supremely intelligent, anti-social, hard-core gamer...of...more
Antigone
I started back into this last night and I really would love to spend all day in bed reading it :)

Update :

I was really looking forward to something different than this book offered. I was looking for an incredible story that was intricate but because it was necessary. Unfortunately, this it was not. The story was very intricate. The details of Mayan culture, religion and brutality were vivid. But the whole thing wasn't woven into the story such that I felt it was necessary to read all 800plus pa...more
Don Maker
The concept was excellent, and the topic is incredibly timely. There was obviously a lot of research done on both the Maya civilization and the scientific/technological aspects of the novel. The story is strong, although the ending seems rushed compared with the development of most of the story. For the plot, read other reviews.

The prologue really hooked me. However, the writing was incredibly self-indulgent, with so much "backstory", or history of the character, at the very beginning that it al...more
Michele
Wow! What a great book! And so underrated up on Goodreads. I read a bunch of reviews to figure out why it is so underrated.

Here's the thing. If you don't like one or more of the following, you will NOT like this book: being scared, being grossed out, being faced with some facts about how the world could end, violence to animals or people, sci-fi, horror, weird things, violent cultures like the Mayans, drug use, time-travel, long books, or the first of a series where all the storylines are not wr...more
Walter Herrick
Oct 25, 2011 Walter Herrick rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: to no one.
This book is a puzzler. Up until about the last 60 pages this book was pretty good. Kind of like the Da Vinci code - part science fiction, part religion, part contemporary mystery. The sci-fi ideas at its core are astounding...using an ancient Mayan sacrifice game as a future predictor, and time travel by sending your pattern of self as energy through wormholes to the past, where you overwrite somebody else.

BUT - the book is written in an R rated stream of conscious with no censoring that is bi...more
Doug
The premise was interesting - why does the calendar of the ancient Maya end at 2010 (they just ran out of stone and figured they'd get it done later, but never got around to it? Sorry, bad joke). The protagonist is a 'current' Maya, disrespected in his own country and through various machinations (believeable or un-) has the chance to 'go back' and see why the calendar ends (and do a few other thing.) Part of the early story has him rescued by Mormon hospital workers and sent to live with a morm...more
Dwayne
May 08, 2010 Dwayne rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Patient people.
I learned from this book that "conventional wisdom" has its place, and should be kept there. Many who write books about writing say a prologue should be short and pointed, and that it is a bad idea to delay too long in introducing all the major cast of the novel. These same people also say any essential back story should be scattered throughout the story, and that if it is NOT essential it should be left out. And also that long sentences should be used sparingly, and long paragraphs even more s...more
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