K’inuuw Mat is the daughter of the ruler of the city of Uxte’kuh. It is expected she will follow her matrilineal line by being the daughter of her generation who will serve the goddess Ix Chel on Her island of Cuzamil. However, an oracular prophecy says she will serve the goddess in a different way. At first, K’inuuw Mat resists this and contemplates escaping back to the island. In the end, she accepts Ix Chel’s will for her. The prophecy comes to pass when she becomes bride to one of the sons of the ruling family in Lakam Ha. She does her own divination to see what her future husband looks like and is granted a vision of a man who turns out to be her husband’s brother. What does this vision actually mean, and how will it affect her people?
It’s clear that Martin has put a great deal of research into this story. I’m somewhat familiar with Mayan history and archaeology, and it was enjoyable to find things I recognized. It was a just as enjoyable to learn new things. This was a complex, quite advanced culture. They managed to plot calendars far in advance. Indeed, the ‘infamous’ 2012 was the ending of an impossibly long cycle. And they did it all without computers or digital calculators. As a person notoriously poor in mathematics, this boggles my mind.
Martin mentions that the Mayan language was very flowery and formal (at least as we understand it), and I liked that not only was the dialogue written this way, but the entity of the story was. I would have liked a pronunciation guide at the beginning, though. Most things I actually remembered, and part of that was the various pronunciations of ‘x’. What I didn’t fully recall was what sound is used when. Some words, like Ix Chel, I remembered. Words new to me were the problem. However, I imagine these words would confuse readers unfamiliar with this fact.
The First North Americans series by archaeologists W Michael & Kathleen O’Neal Gear is one of my all-time favorite series, and this book (and series) made me think of a South/Mesoamerican version. K’inuuw Mat was the first book of this series that I’ve read, but I went and purchased the previous ones. I’m looking forward to reading them. A highly recommended book for those interested in the ancient Maya, or archaeology in general!
~ SEATTLE BOOK REVIEW
Readers who have enjoyed the other books in this series will find an even more compelling story in The Prophetic Mayan Queen. It takes an individual's spiritual and political perspectives and turns them on end, leading a young woman to realize her value and purpose far beyond her belief system or the duty she's been assigned to in her culture.
As a work of visionary fiction, these insights on Mayan spirituality and culture are exceptional in their scope, and complexity. No light read, The Prophetic Mayan Queen: K'inuuw Mat of Palenque crafts a wide-ranging set of inspections which provide readers with an excellent foundation for understanding the historical, spiritual, and social aspects of the early Mayan world.
Having a story that is not just pure fictional construct, but which is supported by modern archaeological discoveries connecting the ancient Mayan world to modern times makes for an underlying layer of scientific and historical background that adds to reader knowledge in many unexpected ways.
The Prophetic Mayan Queen: K'inuuw Mat of Palenque is a fitting and wonderful addition to an increasingly authoritative series.
~ MIDWEST BOOK REVIEW
K'inuuw Mat of Palenque, the grand finale of author Leonide Martin's Mists of Palenque series will not disappoint you.
Imagine this book in vivid color on the big screen with the opening scene set in a canoe traveling in the Caribbean blue waters close to the tropical island of Cozumel at the time of the ancient Maya, and the spectacular ending scene at the magnificent Mayan archaeological site of Palenque in the mountainous jungle of Chiapas, Mexico. Awesome!
This book will carry you away to another place. It is hard to put down.
This compelling story, which is based on well-research history, and the author's lively imagination brings to life the ancient Mayan people, their rulers, their gods, their romance, and their struggles for survival, revenge and justice.
~ Jane Grimsrud, Mayan Travel Guide
Fans of historical fiction rejoice!
The Prophetic Mayan Queen: K’innuw Mat of Palenque , the eagerly-awaited Book 4 of Leonide Martin’sMists of Palenqueseries,has arrived! Martin weaves masterful storytelling with scholarly research and intuitive insight to bring-to-life a lost culture in this rich series. She draws one into a world of unique and exotic customs, politics, history, arts, sciences, spiritual practices, and relationships, so artfully and seamlessly, that the reader feels she has time-traveled and experienced the Mayan life and culture first-hand. I simultaneously could not put this page-turner down and didn’t want it to end. Fans of historical fiction rejoice. You are in for a treat!
~ Stephanie Costanza, Research Associate, UCSF School of Medicine