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Daughter of the Sun Paperback – September 4, 2007


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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The prolific and bestselling Wood (The Blessing Stone) explores life in the pre-Columbian Americas in this evocative historical romance. Hoshi'tiwa, a beautiful and gifted young Aztec potter of rain jars, is violently uprooted from her village by the dominant Toltec tribe and taken to Center Place, a distant trade and administrative hub suffering through a severe drought. Charged with making a jar that will bring rain to the Toltecs, Hoshi'tiwa captivates her captors: even Lord Jakál, the Toltec leader, finds himself drawn to her. Others feel threatened and plot to eliminate her: Lady White Orchid, a wealthy and influential aristocrat, hopes to marry Jakál herself. Xikli, captain of the elite Jaguar military unit, hopes to use the drought to stage a coup. As Hoshi'tiwa struggles with conflicted feelings for Jakál, she undertakes an arduous journey of discovery. Wood spins a passionate, well-crafted tale of forbidden love that evokes a time and place that exist as much in myth as fact. (Sept.)
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From Booklist

The ancient Aztec and Toltec civilizations lie at the heart of Wood’s engaging historical romance, set near Chaco Canyon during years of debilitating drought. Hoshi’tiwa, a young and talented potter famous for her rain jars, is summoned from her Aztec village to a “massive stone complex” built by the Toltecs, the People of the Sun, home to hundreds of families who are tended to by Aztec slaves like Hoshi’tiwa herself. She is told she must create jars that will entice the gods to bring forth rain by the Summer Solstice, and that her life depends on her success. Jakal, the all-powerful Dark Lord, is intrigued by Hoshi’tiwa’s independent spirit, and believes she is a “messenger from the gods.” He grants her special privileges, leading to jealousy among the ranks, and conspiracies against them both. Woods has packed her saga with religious celebrations, brutal executions, and the myriads of superstitions ruling the everyday lives of these ancient peoples, creating not just a compelling romance, but a fascinating look at civilizations whose sudden disappearance remains a mystery. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 453 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; First Edition edition (September 4, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312363680
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312363680
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.1 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #832,532 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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2 star
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See all 14 customer reviews
I enjoyed this book from the first page to the last.
Keecia
I really, REALLY recommend this to history buffs and bookworms alike as this was a simply elegant read that I quite enjoyed.
H. Pederson
The characters are very well developed and the story line keeps the reader involved and interested throughout the book.
Roxie Smeal

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on September 8, 2007
Format: Paperback
This one made it to my "top 5" list of Barbara Wood books along with "Virgins of Paradise", "The Dreaming", "Green City in the Sun" and "Perfect Harmony". After young Hoshi'tiwa is taken away from the comfort of her home and family, she steps into a world so unlike her own - different ways of life, gods, social structures, etc. In the backdrop of majestic American Southwest, we witness naive and homesick Hoshi'tiwa turning into a courageous, intelligent leader. Along the way, she experiences love, loss, betrayal, loneliness and all other human emotions. I enjoyed getting a glimpse of beautiful pottery making, spirituality and worship rituals of the ancient American Southwest, not to mention the poignant romance between the main characters. I recommend "Daughter of the Sun" to any reader who would appreciate good romance or historical/anthropological fictions.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Rebecca Huston on November 30, 2007
Format: Paperback
One of the most mysterious spots on the American continent are the ruins to be found at Chaco Canyon, New Mexico. Massive ruins of multistoried buildings, and round underground chambers called kivas dot the landscape, and the visitor can't help but wonder about the people who lived here.

Barbara Wood attempts to take on the riddle of why the sites of Chaco Canyon were abandoned so suddenly, and crafts a novel about the turmoil and times of great change among early native Ameican peoples. The story revolves around Hoshi'tiwa, a young girl of the People of the Sun, who has learned how to craft pottery and jars that seem to have the power to bring rain -- a valuable gift in a land that is starved for water. When gossip spreads, Hoshi'tiwa finds herself forcibly separated from her family and taken to the Center Place, where the Toltec overlords rule over the People of the Sun, and she finds herself the center of plots and threats of death.

The leaders of the Center Place, under the rule of the handsome Lord Jakal, range from Moquihix, who advises and oversees the running of the Center Place, his son Xikli leader of the Jaguar troops, Tenoch the hero and his daughter White Orchid, and the more humble peoples -- all of them want to see Hoshi'tiwa dead, but not before she brings the rain back.

How Hoshi'tiwa manages to survive despite all of the threats, and people plotting against her is the main plot of the story. Throughout it all, she remains true to her people and the strict code of honor that she was raised with. The rites and practices of the Toltec overlords are horrible to her, with violent human sacrifice and the eating of man-corn -- cannibalism.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. Baumann VINE VOICE on July 14, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Plot Summary: In 1150 A.D., two ancient civilizations share what is now the Southwestern United States. The Sun People form small, peaceful, agricultural communities that grow corn and worship the earth spirits. The Toltecs are a warrior race who come from the South, and their practice of human sacrifice and cannibalism keep all the neighboring communities in fear. The Dark Lord who rules Central Place hears of a young farmer's daughter who can make it rain, and he takes her back to his parched city. While the people thirst for water, Hoshi'tiwa is repulsed and drawn to the ruler of the Toltecs, but ultimately she falls in love with the idea of helping her enslaved people, no matter the cost.

I knew full well what I was getting into after I read the jacket flap on this book, and I still picked it up anyway. It was the whole `forbidden love' quote that snared me like a sucker, and while it didn't deliver a happy ending (no surprise there), I was completely entertained by the ancient world brought to life here. This is a nice fictional interpretation of what might have happened to the Native Americans who lived in Chaco Canyon (New Mexico), since no one really knows the whole truth, aside from the fact that there was a great drought that lasted for 300 years.

The story focuses on a common teenage girl who is a gifted potter. Her people believed that beautiful rain jars coaxed the cloud spirits to fill them up with water, so the art of pottery held a sacred place within their society. Unfortunately for Hoshi'tiwa, her father brags about her abilities, and a Dark Lord from the south drags her back to his bone dry city for some spiritual help.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Z Hayes HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 4, 2008
Format: Paperback
Having enjoyed Barbara Wood's The Blessing Stone, I could not resist picking this book up when I saw it at my local library. I finished it within the day, it was very involving indeed.

The story is set during the Anasazi period in history and centers around a gifted young girl, Hoshi'tiwa, who belongs to the Tortoise Clan, and has humble origins. All she wishes to do is to marry her betrothed, Ahote, and cook suppers for him. Unfortunately, fate decrees a more complex destiny for her -she is chosen by the Dark Lord Jakal, leader of the Toltec people at Center Place and taken away to his court to bring rain [as prophesied by the priests].

At first, Hoshi'tiwa reviles the Dark Lord, but soon finds redeeming qualities within him, a complex man with many facets to his character, and the attraction is mutual, though begrudged. Jakal fights his attraction to the humble corn grower's daughter who is not as sophisticated as the ladies in his court, the beautifully adorned Toltec women, one of whom, White Orchid, will stop at nothing to get the man she desires. Hoshi'tiwa on the other hand, is not a great beauty, but her gift with clay, and her ability to touch Jakal's soul draws them both together, despite the fact that they are forbidden to be together.

This is a sumptuously told tale of history and romance, both interwoven with consummate skill and grips the reader from start to finish. The characters are well-crafted and developed, and we come to really care about some of them. All in all, this is an involving piece of historical romance that will surely enthrall fans of the genre.
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