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Heart of a Jaguar
-- "Gripping... a resonant, coming-of-age story". -- Publisher's Weekly, starred reviewWhen famine threatens his drought-stricken Mayan village, Balam kills a jaguar and hopes its heart is the offering the gods desire. His courage, he thinks, proves his manhood. His gift, he prays, will bring on the rains. But the elders say the gods demand more -- a human sacrifice.... "U ...more
Paperback, 216 pages
Published May 1st 1997 by Aladdin Paperbacks
(first published October 1st 1995)
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Well written I felt, but not for the squeamish. But then, this culture seemed to do some things we'd consider horrific, to there own bodies and each other, as a matter of course, it was accepted ritual and superstition. There are no punches pulled in this story, it is quite dark and despairing for a teen book, though again, I felt well done, considering the subject matter.
Balam's Mayan village is plagued by a long drought. Ah Chan, the village priest, has conducted ceremonies and spilled villagers' blood to honor the Chacs (gods) and appeal to them for rain. But still the rains don't come and there is concern about planting the maize crops. The young bachelors begin to criticize old Ah Chan for being unable to appease the gods. Meanwhile, Balam has been having visions, seeing and talking to his dead mother and twin brother, and seeing a jaguar instead of his own ...more
While dealing with her husband's illness, this debut author turned to the refuge of Jane Austen's work. That refuge turned into her highly anticipa...
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