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Woman of a Thousand Secrets
     

Woman of a Thousand Secrets

3.6 13
by Barbara Wood
 

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The Bestselling Author of The Blessing Stone and Daughter of the Sun

She came to them from the sea, and to the sea they returned her. . . . A story of sacrifice and survival in the New World.

Tonina lives an idyllic life on a small island in the Caribbean hundreds of years before Europeans discovered it. But she has always been an outsider

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Woman of a Thousand Secrets 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Her parents adopted Tonina as an infant although her much lighter skin meant she came from another land. She grew up tall, much taller than all the women and most of the men. Tonina was also competitive rather than allow a potential suitor to defeat her in athletic contests she participated and usually won especially in swimming. Finally her family worries that she has no man so they believe she must go from their tiny island to the nearby mainland seeking people just like her.------------ Her journey takes her to the Mayan Empire where she meets a barbarian outsider Kaan. They are attracted to one another, but he is married. When his wife dies, he begins the quest to insure her soul is cleansed. Soon Tonina joins him as they travel together to Mayapan bringing along an entourage of followers. However, Mayan Prince Balam has raised an army of many people with one battle in mind destroy Kaan, who he holds culpable for all that has failed in his life. That means killing every follower who are both genders and all ages including elderly and children, but few soldiers.------------------- WOMAN OF A THOUSAND SECRETS is a superb pre-Columbus Central American tale. The story line brings to life several cultures especially the Mayan, but to a lesser degree the islanders. Tonia is a fabulous central figure who holds the insightful plot together from the island to the mainland. Barbara Wood provides an entertaining Mayan Era historical.---------------- Harriet Klausner
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Tonina came from the sea: a baby found floating in a basket: A "gift from the gods" her adoptive grandmother told her. She doesn't look like the other villagers of Pearl Island. She is tall, lean and light-skinned, and considered "ugly". Tonina longs to know where she comes from and what lies on the other side of the ocean, beyond her small island. A cruel trick leads Tonina away from the protective cove of her family to a new land: the land of the Maya, where she embarks on a quest to find a mysterious red flower with healing qualities. A flower that she believes will cure her ailing grandfather. Her quest leads her on an epic and dangerous adventure through the rain forests of the Yucatan, the jungles of Guatemala, and into the ancient land of Mexico. She encounters a new and different people and in so doing, discovers the mysteries of her past.
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emmi331 More than 1 year ago
It's clear early on in this novel that Tonina and Kaan are destined to be the power couple of the early Aztec culture. Alas, fate keeps intervening in their love affair. Tonina has arrived on the shores of the Yucatan peninsula from an island near Cuba, where she'd washed ashore in a basket as an infant. She is considered ugly by the islanders. We know she is ugly because she is described as being tall and slender with long slim legs, honey-colored skin, great hair, and high cheekbones. Kaan, who is another displaced soul - in the Mayan culture - is considered a bit odd-looking himself. He resembles Fabio, only with darker hair. Once they've met, of course they can't stand each other's company. That, as you may have guessed, changes. All seriousness aside, this would be little more than a standard paperback historical romance were it not for a truly epic story (involving lots of quests), interesting supporting characters, and fine descriptions of life in an exotic time and place. As always, Ms. Wood has an engaging narrative style and knows how to make the reader care about the people and events in her tale. Overall, an enjoyable read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
WOMAN OF A THOUSAND SECRETS is a saga of one woman's journey in the New World, long before the Conquistadors' time.

Tonina, delivered to Pearl Island as a baby by dolphin spirits, considers Pearl Island her home, though she has always been an outsider. As much as she wishes she could fit in with the Islanders, there has always been something different about her, and the time has come for her to leave Pearl Island and find her own people.

Tonina's adoptive grandparents, Guama and Huracan, devise a scheme to convince Tonina to leave the island. They tell her that Huracan has an awful sickness that can only be cured by a mysterious red flower with magical healing properties. Immediately, Tonina sees it as her duty to find this red flower and bring it back to Pearl Island, curing Huracan, a man who has loved her all her life and given her a home.

While her journey is perilous and Tonina encounters villains and treachery along her way, she also finds friends and companions that she grows to love. From Prince Balám, an embittered ballplayer who has lost everything in life, to One-Eye, an unscrupulous dwarf who ends up falling a little bit in love with the naïve and pure Tonina, every character is memorable and exceptionally developed.

Perhaps most significantly, she meets Kaan, a Mayan ballplayer who is a hero of the games, regarded more highly than a king or holy man. Since Tonina and Kaan first laid eyes on each other, there has been a strange bond between the two. Struggle as they might to fight their feelings for each other, their futures are inexplicably intertwined. Both must fulfill a quest that has been thrust upon them - Tonina to find the ever-elusive red healing flower, and Kaan, to complete a pilgrimage to Teotihuacan to pray for his wife's soul.

Balám proves to be an unworthy adversary for the ever noble Kaan and Tonina, and occasionally the twists and turns in plot bog down the pace of the story as opposed to enhancing the mystery and suspense. However, overall WOMAN OF A THOUSAND SECRETS is a tale of honor worth reading.

In a superstitious world where destiny is determined by the gods and any bad luck is evidence that the gods are unhappy, the Mayans spend the majority of their time appeasing the gods, to ensure a peaceful afterlife. Barbara Wood crafts an extravagant world of love and deceit, mixing history and fantasy to create a story of the same epic proportions as LORD OF THE RINGS.
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