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The Oracle of Ix Chel based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Reviewed by Nandita Keshavan for Readers' Favorite The Oracle of Ix Chel is a vivid book by Rosita Arvigo, based on a Mayan civilisation suffering at the hands of bloodthirsty, greedy priests who seek to stamp out peaceful forms of veneration of the goddess Ix Chel. Told by an ageing matriarch and oracle of Ix Chel, Jade Skirt, the story is a fascinating account of the struggles of an oracle to get her granddaughter to safety, far away from the ruthless priest who has ordered her sacrifice to the god Chac. In an act of defiance and rebellion, Jade attempts to take her granddaughter to safety and, despite the calamities that befall them, she holds tenaciously to her beliefs and her faith in the protection of Ix Chel. Jade has lost her husband in the name of sacrifice in a ruthless killing called the “flowery death"and resents the head priest, who is also her brother. She can see that his acts are not merely out of religious fervour, but stem from a long-standing jealousy. The novel includes fascinating insights into the life of an oracle, her ability to channel the voice of the goddess, and her service to her people and family. It further shows what her position in society was and how it all changed quickly once she became exiled. Despite the loss of her husband, she is brave and has a secret relationship which would be frowned upon in society. The novel is full of imagery, has sufficient momentum and suspense and, being the first of a series, it leaves the reader wanting to read further to see the family of Jade Skirt through to the safe haven of Cuzamil. The novel shows true solidarity for and connection to the natural world in contrast to the insidious greed and rivalry which is perpetuated by Mayan priests at the expense of an unsuspecting populace. Their loyalty and blind faith is astonishing and, on the other hand, the rebellion of the people of Cuzamil against the unjust rulers is refreshing. It's an exciting story told in convincing detail, and the character portrayal and imagery add variety and intrigue to a battle for survival and freedom.