The Queen Jade
  • The Queen Jade
  • The Queen Jade

The Queen Jade

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by Yxta Maya Murray
     
 

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There is a legend of the New World that has endured for centuries: the strange, tragic tale of a King, a Witch . . . and a blue gem of intoxicating beauty said to grant extraordinary power to whoever possesses it.

Archaeologist Juana Sanchez, convinced that she's discovered the key to unlocking the mystery of the fabled Queen Jade, ventures into the Central

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Overview

There is a legend of the New World that has endured for centuries: the strange, tragic tale of a King, a Witch . . . and a blue gem of intoxicating beauty said to grant extraordinary power to whoever possesses it.

Archaeologist Juana Sanchez, convinced that she's discovered the key to unlocking the mystery of the fabled Queen Jade, ventures into the Central American jungle alone—just ahead of the relentless pounding fury of Hurricane Mitch. When the terrible storm is over, Juana is gone, and an ancient, long-buried jade mine has been uncovered in the mountains of Guatemala, giving new hope to all obsessed seekers of the legendary stone. But it is a different obsession that plunges Juana's daughter—scholar and bookseller Lola Sanchez—into the remarkable adventure of a lifetime. For only by following the Queen Jade's perilous, cursed trail can Lola hope to find her vanished mother . . . if it isn't already too late.

Editorial Reviews

El Paso Times
“A breath-stopping, muscle-straining journey through the jungles of Central America … Murray is quickly becoming to the action/adventure genre what Octavia Butler and Ursula K. Le Guin are to science fiction.”
Glamour
“You’d better get comfortable before you pick up this estrogen-laced Da Vinci Code: It’s a blood-pumping adventure you’ll read straight to the thrilling end.”
Booklist
“In the finest tradition of adventure yarns...A rip-roaring page-turner that concludes with a satisfying twist.”
Publishers Weekly
A trek through the Guatemalan rain forest helps a Mexican-American woman heal old family wounds-and solve a centuries-old archeological puzzle to boot-in this atmospheric, long-winded adventure story by Murray (The Conquest). Lola Sanchez, a 30ish Californian bookseller, is long accustomed to dispatching her difficult mother, Juana, on archeological missions to the "jaguar-and-relic-filled jungles of Guatemala." But this time is different: Hurricane Mitch has devastated much of the country, and Lola fears that her mother's quest to discover the "magic queen of all jades"-a rare blue relic whose fabled power has obsessed centuries of European explorers-will lead her into dangerously flood-ravaged terrain. So she closes shop and heads for the rain forest, accompanied by Juana's academic rival, Erik Gomara, a paunchy lothario; her own intensely bitter ex-friend, Yolanda de la Rosa, who boasts expertise with a machete; and Manuel Alvarez, her frail, panicky father. These entertaining characters are all sharply drawn, and the depiction of the teeming jungle is breathtaking. But Murray is less successful at conveying the mythos of the Queen Jade and the history of its pursuit. Too much of the novel consists of the characters reading documents aloud to one another or pedantically lecturing. The repeat appearances of a menacing mustached soldier add zip to the plot, but seem forced and implausible, as does the family tree-altering conclusion in an amazing cave. Agent, Shana Kelly at William Morris. 5-city author tour. (Feb. 1) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Meticulously researched backstory and excess verbiage too often trump adventure in Murray's fourth effort (The Conquest, 2002, etc.). Lola Sanchez is cocooning at her fantasy bookstore in Long Beach, California, when her mom, UCLA archeologist Juana, announces plans to return to Guatemala. Her quest? To discover the true artifacts behind the Mayan "Legende of the Queen Jade," transcribed by Beatriz de la Cueva, colonial governor, ca. 1540. De la Cueva was the first European to track the Jade, a luminous blue jewel that is Central America's answer to the One Ring of Power. For centuries, scholars have retraced de la Cueva's steps as outlined in her fanciful writings. Von Humboldt (1800s) found the labyrinths mentioned in the Legende, the Mazes of Deceit and Virtue, which surround the jewel and confound would-be world dominators. Oscar Tapia (1924) discovered the Flores Stelae panels, which contain hieroglyphs declared meaningless by Juana; her partner, Manuel Alvarez, (Lola's putative father); and dashing scientist/revolutionary, Tomas de la Rosa. Tomas-recently dead-and Juana had been estranged since he lured Manuel into quicksand. Now, when Hurricane Mitch hits Guatemala, Lola goes after her missing mother. With Juana's other bane, Professor Erik Gomara, in tow, Lola reunites with Manuel and a very cheesed-off Yolanda, Tomas' daughter. Still seething over banishment by Lola's family, spitfire Yolanda is dodging her father's army enemies. Lola's conquest of rake Erik and revelations about her parentage momentarily quicken the pulse, but turgid prose slows the narrative ("here chocolate-covered earth, streaked with lime and pebbled with stones, extruded into the paved areas, thick, deep,and making exhaling sounds when the car's wheels crushed on by"). Sheer logistics occupy three-quarters of the story, but getting anywhere near the Jade is definitely not half the fun. By the time Erik decodes the Stelae to expose the true nature of the labyrinths and Juana's whereabouts, readers will have long run screaming back to The Da Vinci Code. Fiery beauties and rakish hunks can't enliven this overblown melodrama. Author Tour; Agent: Virginia Barber/William Morris Agency

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780060582654
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
06/03/2008
Series:
Red Lion Series, #1
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
368
Sales rank:
1,253,714
Product dimensions:
5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.80(d)

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Meet the Author

Yxta Maya Murray is the author of The Conquest—winner of the Whiting Award—and The King's Gold, the second novel in her acclaimed Red Lion series. She is a professor at Loyola Law School and lives in Los Angeles.

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The Queen Jade 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago