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Feathered Serpent, Dark Heart of Sky

MBR Bookwatch


The 34 folk stories and aboriginal myths compiled in Feathered Serpent, Dark Heart of Sky by University of Texas academician David Bowles deftly trace the history of the world from its beginnings in the dreams of the dual god, Ometeotl, to the arrival of the Spanish conquistadors in Mexico and the fall of the great city Tenochtitlan.

In the course of that history we learn about the Creator Twins (Feathered Serpent and Dark Heart of Sky) and how they built the world on a leviathan's back; of the shape-shifting nahualli; and the aluxes, elfish beings known to help out the occasional wanderer. And finally, we read Aztec tales about the arrival of the blonde strangers from across the sea, the strangers who seek to upend the rule of Motecuhzoma and destroy the very stories we are reading.

These legends and myths captured Bowles's imagination as a young Latino reader. Despite growing up on the United States/Mexico border, he had never read a single Aztec or Mayan myth until he was in college. This experience inspired him to reconnect with that forgotten past.


A fully absorbing and inherently fascinating read throughout, Feathered Serpent, Dark Heart of Sky: Myths of Mexico is an impressive work of simply outstanding scholarship that is enhanced with the inclusion of a two-page Pronunciation Guide, an eight-page Glossary, a four-page listing of Source Notes, and a two-page Bibliography. While strongly and unreservedly recommended for both community and academic library Mexican Mythology collections and supplemental studies lists, it should be noted for students, academia, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that Feathered Serpent, Dark Heart of Sky: Myths of Mexico is also available in a paperback edition and in a digital book format.
- August 25, 2018  Visit Website

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