The Prophetic Mayan Queen: K’inuuw Mat of Palenque by Leonide Martin

Leonide Martin
Made for Wonder Publishing (2019)
ISBN 9781641463652
Reviewed by Araceli Noriega for Reader Views (2/20)

“The Prophetic Mayan Queen: K’inuuw Mat of Palenque” is the fourth installment of the Mists of Palenque Series by Leonide Martin. In this novel, Leonide Martin sets out to tell the story of a young woman whose clairvoyant abilities have shown promise to a future calling for the Priestess she admires. Soon she learns that there is more to her calling than what she has envisioned. Readers are brought along for a journey filled with every imaginable emotion in the course of a heroine’s lifetime. As a result, a world that is stunningly beautiful and complete without ours—but intractably connected—surges through the pages of the book.

To describe Leonide Martin’s writing as superb is an understatement. The language of the book is for book lovers and logophiles alike. Martin uses advanced lexicon in adequate amounts and places to bring readers into the Mayan world of the protagonist, K’inuuw Mat. A favorite passage of mine is the following:

“When will she and her retinue arrive?” asked Kan Bhalam.

“Within two moon cycles, so the marriage may take place when Lady Uc shows her bright round face, glowing with love’s quickening heartbeat, in the night sky at summer solstice,” offered Chak Chan, an astronomer in the Academy of Kan Bahlam.

“Ever the sky watcher, and now also a poet!” exclaimed Tiwol Chan Mat.

Poetic, indeed! The statement by Chak Chan creates romantic imagery for readers followed by Tiwol’s insightful and witty commentary. Exchanges like this one—seen throughout the novel—show readers the intellect, affection, and self-awareness that the characters possess. Martin’s characters are reminiscent of Shakespearean character profiles and stories which carry the universal themes of humanity.

Fans of romance will undoubtedly enjoy this novel, though the storyline is unlike typical romance novels with predictable plotlines. Readers interested in learning about the ancient Mayan culture and its people will also instantly lose themselves in K’inuuw Mat’s story. Archeology enthusiasts would do well to read this novel also, as the book is both entertaining and educational.

Prior to reading “The Prophetic Mayan Queen: K’inuuw Mat of Palenque” I had decided that I’d like to learn the Mayan language. Like many of my peers, I have studied other languages but none that are considered ‘pre-Colombian’. This is an effort to honor my own maternal Mayan roots as my mother and her entire family is from Central America. I could not have asked for a better introduction into the nuances of the ancient Mayan language and way of life. The ‘Afterword’ section of the book is especially endearing to me as it is written for the scholar in all of us.

I highly recommend Leonide Martin’s “The Prophetic Mayan Queen: K’inuuw Mat of Palenque” for anyone who wants to connect with the heroine inside. The novel effectively takes readers through an adventure which competes with classic stories of self-fulfillment despite life’s unexpected challenges and loss. I look forward to reading all of the books in the series and I hope that Martin can bring some of these tales to life in film or a televised series.

Everything—including the cover art and maps to the storyline and author notes—about Martin’s “The Prophetic Mayan Queen: K’inuuw Mat of Palenque” delights the eyes and soul. Some might consider the writing a bit dense because it is advanced, at times “foreign-sounding”, and doesn’t use worn out tropes in fiction. However, at the end of the story, readers realize that they have been immersed into a tale of ascent to power besieged by challenging ethical dilemmas as well as metaphysical experiences. With its setting in the highly advanced civilization of the ancient Mayas, embedded dynamic characters in a heroine’s tale, this historical novel is sure to enamor readers of any genre.

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