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Call of the Panther: A Novel of the Ancient Maya Paperback – November 27, 2007


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 296 pages
  • Publisher: Outskirts Press (November 27, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1432713922
  • ISBN-13: 978-1432713928
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,417,751 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Author

Call of the Panther -

Now a new historical novel, the first of its kind, Call of the Panther by Joan C Wrenn, brings the ancient Maya to life. The tale begins as a present-day trip to the Maya sites in northern Yucatan, but rapidly and mysteriously becomes entangled in the life of a young ancient Maya woman.

As the story unfolds, tourism among the contemporary Maya is interwoven with events of ancient Maya life amidst the social upheaval of the Late Classic era. The young Maya heroine with the unlikely name Ch'eel Yash faces personal struggles and political intrigue, stares down a panther spirit, and is finally called to her ultimate spiritual challenge in the ancient city of Chichen Itsa, as she attempts to unravel the mystery of her family's destiny.

About the Author

Wrenn brings to this work a wealth of anthropological knowledge, including a Masters Degree in Cultural Anthropology, epigraphic workshops in reading Mayan glyphic writing under the tutelage of leading Mayan epigraphers, and tours of many ancient Maya sites led by prominent Mayanists.

"My intention,"says Wrenn, "is to help the general public understand some of the everyday complexity of ancient Maya life, and how the current-day oppressed Maya of Chiapas and Guatemala are the true descendants of those who built this marvelous ancient civilization. My novels are dedicated to the Dignity of the Maya People."

Did she say novels in the plural? Yes, reportedly this novel is only the first of many to come, as she finalizes the last chapter of her upcoming Young Lords of Siyah Chan.


More About the Author

From childhood, an avid interest in human cultures and lifeways has driven me to read widely. Historical fiction was an early and constant love. Anything about nature and creation: astronomy, geology, botany, zoology, psychology, and most recently ecopsychology. Spirituality and religion:, my own Methodist Christian heritage, Judaism, astrology and theosophy, later eastern religions including Hinduism, Buddhism, meditation, New Age, then Process phiilosophy and theology. Mystery thrillers, science fiction and fantasy. Much of this while raising two children and working full time!

Then, family grown and the first grandchildren around, in the midst of a career in computer programming, I returned to college to complete my BA in Cultural Anthropology at age 50, then an MA in Anthropology with a concentration on the anthropology of religion.

It was during this time that I made my first foray into Central America, a quick 4-day tour in Yucatan: Merida, Uxmal, Chichen Itza and the sites of the Puuc. This tour is the background for my first published novel of the ancient Maya: Call of the Panther, with its New Age-ish time travel into the life of a young Maya woman from ancient Uxmal, looking for her destiny and that of her son, and her travels to Chichen Itza.

I fell in love with the Maya, particularly the ruins of Uxmal in their stately yet inviting whiteness. Returning home, I began reading voraciously about the Maya, both ancient and contemporary. I began learning about their fascinating hieroglyphic writing and the work of scholars, linguists and epigraphers to decipher its meaning. I attended glyph workshops to learn the basics, and found the marvelous Jaguar Tours led by the late Katherine Josserand and Nick Hopkins, extraordinary Maya linguists and epigraphers and marvelous tour guides throught the Central Americn jungles to the ruined sites of these fascinating ancient people, as well as to their contemporary communities, their handcrafts and rituals.

After completing my second novel about the Old Testament prophet Samuel, I began in earnest the story of the rulers of the ancient city-state of Yaxchilan, on the border between Guatemala and Chiapas Mexico. Their monuments and incriptions spoke to me of people alive centuries ago, living in the jungle, creating such beauty, meeting the struggles and joys of life in such different yet similar ways. The historical events of Yaxchilan extricated from the once-unreadable Maya script of their ancient inscriptions spoke of their values, beliefs and rituals, their politics and economics and the mystery of a missing ten years.

It was a saga begging to be unearthed, teased out of the strands of time, and I tackled it head on, bringing my anthropological understandings, the archaealogical findings of all Maya sites regarding residential patterns, foods, handcrafts, combined with knowledge of contemorary Maya lifeways. It has been a labor of love, and now, in April 2010, the first of the Siyah Chan series of novels is available to readers.

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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Patti A. Conner on June 25, 2008
Format: Paperback
When I read Call of the Panther I must admit I didn't know much about the Mayan people and their culture. This book is a great introduction to the Mayan ways as well as a spell binding adventure. The story of Chel a young Mayan woman bound by spiritual inheritance to become a healer for her own people. She and her son face many dangers on their way to fulfillment of her heritage.
You weave a whole life time, through the visions of her 20th century counterpart. Bouncing in and out of Chel's life span as the sometimes narrator is taken in trance to this mystical, beautiful and dangerous time and place. You too are called into the panthers eyes, what is your path?
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0 of 7 people found the following review helpful By M. Jackson on May 29, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is dribble. The writer may or may not have actually gone to the Yuttacan. She is fixated with her own smugness and is constantly caught up with the prices she (gets ripped off) paying for small boring items on her 'trip'.

The characters (when you get to them) are flat and typical.

There is nothing intersting in this book. I regret bothing to buy and then read it.

Joan, please please either do a writers course or stop writing!
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