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The Well of Sacrifice

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  341 ratings  ·  36 reviews
Eveningstar Macaw lives in a glorious Mayan city in the ninth century. When the king falls ill and dies, the city begins to crumble. An evil high priest, Great Skull Zero, orders the sacrifice of those who might become king, including Eveningstar's beloved brother. Suspicious of the High Priest's motives, Eveningstar attempts to save her brother, thus becoming an acknowled ...more
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published March 30th 1999 by Clarion Books (first published January 1st 1999)
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Average rating 3.95  · 
Rating details
 ·  341 ratings  ·  36 reviews

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Jan 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I read this with my 13yo son. We laughed in the beginning because of the many different names in the book, but we ended up loving the story. When we finished it, and I asked him how many stars to give the book, he said, "Is that even a question?! 5!" ...more
Oct 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
What a great book. A beautiful, historical fiction. Well researched and well written. Morgan is reading this for class. Once I started reading it I couldn't stop. The best part is its stein female lead character. ...more
Dec 02, 2018 rated it liked it
I read this book for an ESL class I teach for middle schoolers. The book was chosen more for its subject matter--Mayan culture and history--than anything else. I thought the story--set in the 9th century and narrated by a young girl whose family is threatened by an evil priest-- periodically became weighed down by overdone descriptions of Mayan culture and customs. The author obviously knows a good deal about the Maya; however, I don't think the story she tells is always accessible or suitable f ...more
Joanne Renaud
Nov 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
I wish I'd read this book when I was younger! This is a deeply impressive achievement. It's a dense, rich middle-grade novel with lots of action, adventure, a believable young female protagonist, with lots of believably dysfunctional family drama.

This is, BTW, dark as hell for a middle grade book. There is a LOT of death. There's gore, political intrigue, and even a smidgen of romance. The world is rich and fascinating, well researched, and it captures the imagination. There's not enough books
Jul 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars. A nice YA novel that touches on all the major aspects of Mayan culture circa 900 AD - ball games, temples, weaving, calendar counting, cenotes, war, human sacrifice, bloodletting, slavery, festivals, social class strata, and so on. The author does not shy away from human sacrifice and bloodletting rituals, a key component of this culture, but handles them simply enough so as not to be gratuitous for young teen readers. She also describes the Tzolk'in calendar and shows how its divinat ...more
Nina Salvati
Jul 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I read this book when I was a child and i loved it, now, in my early twenties , I can tell I still love it. The storyline is so interesting and Im in love with the setting! Maya culture is so interesting and I love that while reading this book I learned something that not even my teacher at University thought me.

The story is easy and short because it is a book for children but still it teaches so much about such an interesting culture that, unluckily, is completely gone.
Totally recommend it fo
Dec 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

This book is a classic coming of age story that blends modern emotions of finding your place in the world with fictional history of a mayan girl. Well researched, this book is still a page turner filled with excitement for people of all ages.
JJ Reads
Feb 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The book was amazing, it was historically accurate, it had a strong female character, and it was full of heartbreak and humor. I read this book a few years ago, and I still remember it as one of the best book I've ever read. ...more
Sara Repasy
Apr 10, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read for my daughters school.
Stopped on p. 151/Ch 17 because it got scary!
Queen Ellie
Jan 31, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Personally, I enjoyed this book. It was a great read for school, or just even for pleasure. The only reason I gave it four stars, was that it slowed down a bit in the middle, then picked back up abruptly.
Which personally, I don’t really enjoy. But in conclusion, a good read.
Jason Golomb
Jun 25, 2011 rated it really liked it
Chris Bloch's "Well of Sacrifice" is a fictional anthropological tour of Maya life set during the tenth century just as the Maya civilization has peaked and the mighty Mesoamerican civilzation starts to crumble. This wonderful book, targeted at 6th grade and up, is strong in historical and cultural content and makes a terrific complement to an educational program, or in preparation for travel to the Yucatan or anywhere in Central America where the Maya had significant presence. Imbued with cultu ...more
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
Well here's another one I couldn't put down! Eboch has obviously done a lot of research here into Mayan culture at its height. At times, especially in the beginning, it read like a treatise on the Maya rather than a story, but it was fascinating to me nonetheless. I loved the main character, Eveningstar Macaw. The story really got going around the middle, and got very suspenseful in the second half of the book, as Eveningstar Macaw kept getting foiled in her plans just as you thought she was goi ...more
Apr 06, 2011 rated it really liked it
Eboch “We let the high priest destroy our now we are a city no more”(pg222)
Eveningstar is a brave girl in the ninth century that lives with the mayan people. Her brother Smoke Shell and sister Feather Dawn, mother, father and her slave small (also known as Shield).
When Evningstar goes to the forest to get some herbs for her mother’s medical service. She spots a couple of wild people one saw her move to a bush to hide. He got h
Hannah Wallace
Feb 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sis-gee-bks-1-12
Eveningstar Macwaw is a young vibrant teenager who is growing up around the time of the Mayan collapse. Her family has risen up in rank from lowly peasants to nobles, thanks to her brothers heroic deeds. However after the death of their beloved King Flint Sky God, their city is thrown into turmoil. An evil high priest seeks to have all the power for himself, and seeks the life Eveningstar and that of her brother. Can she stop this evil priest in time to save herself, her brother, and the city?

Austin Curtice
Jan 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
The Well of Sacrifice by Chris Eboch is one of the few fiction books set in the Mayan Empire. The book was published in 1999 and was intended to give readers the feeling of what times were like when your whole empire was beginning to fall. The book is mainly written for 5-8 graders but can open up your imagination and can expand your view on this culture. The way Chris Eboch wrote the story makes it so the readers are drawn into it and can’t get out until finished with the story. While you read ...more
*3.5 stars*
Although seemingly juvenile, this book captured my imagination and transported me to a mysterious world of the past.
I have read a very small amount of books set in this time period, and I have to admit, I was very curious about how this book would portray things. It read as a middle-school book, but served as an good platform for further thinking and imagination about what life was really like for the Mayan people.
Was this book the greatest? No. But it wasn't horrible. The characters
Mar 24, 2009 rated it really liked it
A very graphic tale about a young girl named Eveningstar Macaw and her family. After the death of the king, the chief priest takes control and starts throwing innocent people into the well of sacrifice in honor of the gods...but Eveningstar begins to question his motives and looks into the case. In the end she must fight for what she believes in, deny the doings of the priest, risk her family's lives and face the well of sacrifice. ...more
Chris Eboch
Dec 20, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Recommended to Chris by:
Kirkus Reviews called The Well of Sacrifice, “[An:] engrossing first novel….Eboch crafts an exciting narrative with a richly textured depiction of ancient Mayan society….The novel shines not only for a faithful recreation of an unfamiliar, ancient world, but also for the introduction of a brave, likable and determined heroine.”
Oct 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
My kids like when I read their required reading school books as well, so when this one showed up on the 6th grade syllabus I picked it up. I was very pleasantly surprised. The tale of a young girl, Eveningstar, living in the ancient Mayan culture, is not only educational of their times, but really compelling as well! This is an assignment that most kids will forget is a book they "have" to read. ...more
Ms. Lindsay
Jan 11, 2017 rated it liked it
3.5 stars. I read this out loud to my 13 year old as a part of their Social Studies curriculum. I didn't find the writing style particularly fantastic, but the book contains a lot of information about the time period while also trying to tell a story. It does a decent job and is a lot more interesting than a textbook. ...more
Jan 29, 2009 rated it really liked it
well, Brianna already read this book to us in 5th grade, but i don't remember it very well, but i do remember it being very good, so i'm going to read it again and find out! its about a Mayan culture and one girl who likes to disobey the rules(like the book Witch Child). ...more
Nov 14, 2010 rated it really liked it
I actually found this book quite interesting. I initially picked it up to see if it would be a good read aloud for the kids. They need to be a little older before we read this one together. I appreciated the insight into Mayan history.
Jul 11, 2008 rated it liked it
very interesting to learn about the Mayan culture in a fictional setting - geared for older kids
Nov 05, 2008 added it
Shelves: school
This book is kinda gory and is sick and is not for kids under 11!

Aug 15, 2009 rated it really liked it
It has a good plot, just not what I'd normally read! ...more
Aug 04, 2011 rated it really liked it
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Loved the relation with the Mayan culture. Eboch surely did a lot of research and it all paid off.
Annie Pliego
Oct 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
I read this years ago and remember loving it. I think I'll give it another go sometime. ...more
Oct 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I love this book it give me ideas and it not a one of kings of book there killing
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