The Well of Sacrifice
I awoke in silence and darkness. When the pounding in my head had receded to a dull thud, I felt around me. I was still in the burial chamber. I steadied myself on the coffin as I rose. The stone slab now covered the top. Through the communication duct I could hear a faint wailing, the voices of a thousand mourners in the plaza. My mother would be among them.
I knew I could never move the stone blocking the entrance. Anyway, the stairway would be filled with rubble. Still, I pushed against it with all my force. Nothing….
I would never get out of that temple on my own….I held my knife in my open hand. The blade was now worn and chipped, pale limestone dirt marring the shiny blackness, but it would still pierce my flesh easily. I closed my fingers around it.
A small voice inside me said, “No. Not yet." I let my shaking arm drop to my side. While I could breathe, I would fight. And I would find a way to punish Great Skull Zero.
Eveningstar Macaw lives in a glorious Mayan city in the ninth century. Food and goods seem plentiful, and in gratitude the people make offerings of animals, human blood, and sometimes human life to the gods.
When the king falls ill and dies, the great city begins to crumble. To protect his power, the High Priest, Great Skull Zero, orders the sacrifice of those who might become king--including Eveningstar's beloved brother. Eveningstar is suspicious of the High Priest's motives. She attempts to save her brother, but her boldness makes her an enemy of Great Skull Zero. She is imprisoned, and condemned--she will be thrown into the Well of Sacrifice. Eveningstar must find a way to save herself, her family, and her city from the cruel grasp of Great Skull Zero.
This exciting, fast-paced tale, narrated by a courageous heroine, is set against the vivid background of everyday life at the height of the Mayan golden age and illustrated with striking paintings. Eveningstar's candid, gripping and not-for-the-faint-of-heart account of the last days of a great city will have readers at the edge of their seats. – from the Clarion catalog