Thursday, April 2, 2015

B is for The Bone Flower Throne by T.L. Morganfield

The wall above me exploded in a shower of gravel and stone. I rolled over to cover Little Reed, and when I looked up, the giant stone serpent peeled off the temple wall. The man screamed and tried to run, but the serpent opened its stone jaws, letting out a burst of wind that took him off his feet and up into the air.

Tenth century Mexico is a world in great upheaval. Incursions from the north bring constant warfare as clashing politics and faiths battle for supremacy. At the fore stands Smoking Mirror, a bloodthirsty god bent on subjugating humanity with his hunger for human hearts. Now his high priest, Ihuitimal, has conquered Culhuacan, one of the Toltecs' most powerful kingdoms.

When Smoking Mirror's archenemy, the Feathered Serpent, tasks Quetzalpetlatl, exiled princess of Culhuacan, to help his mortal son Topiltzin end human sacrifice, she eagerly embraces her new destiny. It means avenging her father's murder at the hand of her uncle Ihuitimal, but for Topiltzin-who's more than just a brother to her-she will do anything. Even sacrifice her own heart.

My Review:

The Bone Flower Throne is a great example of why I love the A to Z Challenge. I picked it to fill a letter that opened up at the last minute.  If not for the Challenge I honestly might not have read it any time soon. That would have been a shame, because I really enjoyed the book. 

My favorite thing about the book was how the author brought the myth and Toltec culture to life. The way Morganfield gave a basis for the legends in the lives of her mortal characters was extremely well done.   I'm not overly familiar with early South American culture or it's daily routine, so I can't say if the details were accurate or not, but the author's writing really drew me in. From the beautiful detailing of scenery to the way she brought the people and their customs to life I really felt I was there. 

The story is told from Quetzalpetlatl's point of view, so in that aspect the story is one sided. While you meet the other characters involved in her story, you don't get to know them as in depth as you do her. But this is an issue I've seen with many books told from one character's POV, so I won't hold it against this one. Especially since as it is you do get to see what drives the majority of the other main characters and the author goes in detail to explain why certain people might react the way they do. Also there are a lot of twists and turns to Quetzalpetlatl's story. I was pleasantly surprised by a few I didn't see coming. (Not gonna go into detail and spoil it though.)

The ending isn't a complete cliff hanger. Yes, there are questions left unanswered and it is obviously set up to lead into the next book. Overall though I think the ending is solid. Also, even if it hadn't been made to lead into the next book, I would still have wanted to read more from this author. Both about the characters from The Bone Flower Throne, as well as other books she might come out with.  

I wouldn't recommend Bone Flower Throne for a younger crowd. Mainly because of there being sex in the book, but also because there is violence and death. The violence isn't over the top, but it is there and it does get gory. But if you have read anything of Toltec culture, violence was a daily part of life so it is more the author not sugarcoating the past then using it for shock value. 

While I wouldn't recommend it for anyone under 18 I would definitely recommend it to anyone over 18.  It's a strong start to what looks to be an amazing trilogy.  The detailing is excellent, I really cared what happened to the characters. It was also interesting finding out about a culture that I normally don't get a chance to read about. 

I'm giving it 5 out of 5 stars and hope I get the chance to read the next book in the trilogy very soon!   


I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions expressed in this review are my own.