Feathered Serpent, Dark Heart of Sky
By David Bowles
Readers of Norse and Greek mythologies will delight in this rich retelling of stories less explored. These tales hold a touch of magical realism while holding true to their meanings and their Indigenous roots. The stories in Feathered Serpent, Dark Heart of Sky 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 this book's beautiful language, we learn the history of 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 Moctezuma and destroy the very stories we are reading.
David Bowles stitches together the fragmented folklore and mythology of pre-Colombian Mexico into an exciting, unified narrative in the tradition of William Buck's Ramayana, Robert Fagles's Iliad, and Neil Gaiman's Norse Myths. Legends and myths captured David's imagination as a young Latino reader; he was fascinated with epics like the Iliad and the Odyssey. 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.
About the Creators
DAVID BOWLES is a Mexican American author from south Texas, where he teaches at the University of Texas Río Grande Valley. He has written several award-winning titles, most notably The Smoking Mirror and They Call Me Güero. His work has also been published in multiple anthologies, plus venues such as The New York Times, School Library Journal, Strange Horizons, English Journal, Rattle, Translation Review, and the Journal of Children's Literature. In 2017, David was inducted into the Texas Institute of Letters. He is online at davidbowles.us and on Twitter at @DavidOBowles.