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The Bone Flower Throne: Book One of the Bone Flower Trilogy by T. L. Morganfield: A Book Review

The Bone Flower Throne: Book One of the Bone Flower Trilogy
Author: T. L. Morganfield
Genre: Historical fiction, Fantasy
Publisher: Panverse Publishing LLC
Release Date: October, 19th 2013
Pages: 352
Source: NetGalley/Publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Synopsis: "I slid to a stop and gasped when I saw the black-robed monster hunched over Father's bed mat. Its long, matted hair glistened in the moonlight, and it sang in a harsh voice that sounded like bones snapping. I screamed, my heart thudding as if trying to break out of my chest."

     Tenth century Mexico is a world in great upheaval. Incursions from the north bring constant warfare as clashing politics and faiths battle for supremacy. At the fore stands Smoking Mirror, a bloodthirsty god bent on subjugating humanity with his hunger for human hearts. His high priest, Ihuitimal, has conquered Culhuacan, one of the Toltecs' most powerful kingdoms.

     When Smoking Mirror's archenemy, the Feathered Serpent, tasks Quetzalpetlatl, exiled princess of Culhuacan, to help his mortal son Topiltzin end human sacrifice, she eagerly embraces her new destiny. It means avenging her father's murder at the hand of her uncle Ihuitimal, but for Topiltzin--who's more than just a brother to her--she will do anything. Even sacrifice her own heart.
     
     My Review: The story is a retelling of the the legend of Topiltzin, who is a mythical hero in Mexican culture. The story is told from Topiltzin’s half-sister, Quetzalpetlatl, an exiled princess and strives to become high priestess of Quetzalcoatl. She is chosen by the god Quetzalcoatl to be Topiltzin’s guardian for the promise that Topiltzin will be the greatest and most benevolent king of all the Tolteca. She and Topiltzin both embark on a quest to regain Topiltzin’s stolen throne and to secure a future that is filled with peace and tranquility.

     The story begins as Quetzalpetlatl is a seven year-old princess of Culhuacan, who is about to get married to Ihuitimal’s son, Black Otter. On the night of the wedding, she finds jade stone, and later gives the stone to her mother. Quetzalcoatl comes to her mother in a dream and tells her to swallow the jade stone and she will give birth to Quetzalcoatl's son, who is destined to be the greatest king in Tolteca. Not soon after Quetzalpetlatl mother swallows the stone, then it is revealed that Ihuitimal is worshipping their Quetzalcoatl’s nemesis, the Smoking Mirror, and kills Quetzalpetlatl father and becomes king himself sending Quetzalpetlatl and her mother into exile in Xochicalco. Her mother dies in childbirth giving birth to Topiltzin. She is then chosen by Topiltzin to become Quetzalcoatl’s guardian. She and Topiltzin is then taken into the care of the High Priestess, where Quetzalpetlatl trains to become the next High Priestess of Quetzalcoatl.

     Quetzalpetlatl is a strong and likable heroine. She is devoted to the Quetzalcoatl, and Topiltzin’s glorifying destiny. She is willing to sacrifice herself to protect her half-brother and her god. She is intelligent and is never afraid to ask questions. She is also not afraid to call out the characters that usually make wrong decisions and actions. She is also fervently loving, loyal and never fails to protect those she loves. Indeed, it is Quetzalpetlatl, who is the driving force of the plot and the cause of most of the actions in the book.

     Overall, the story is about justice, sacrifice, and love. I did not know much about the Aztec culture, but from reading the book it is very violent and brutal. I did not like the many countless human sacrifices they made to their gods, and reading about this violence sickened me. However, the human sacrifices was a vital plot point in the book because the main goal for Topiltzin was to end human sacrifice. I found that this legend was similar in some ways to the King Arthur legend. I recommend this novel to anyone interested in mythology, the Aztec culture, and to fans of King Arthur.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

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