It's clear that Mark is normally a non-fiction writer. His presentation is flawless and his research exhaustive. The book was engaging and interesting. I learned so much about Mayan culture I'd never known before. It's clear Mark has been to the places he talks about. Now I'd like to go to Teotihuacan and Chichen Itsa and a few of the other places he mentioned.
The book follows a boy (and then man) called Yax Kan on a voyage of discovery for truth. He travels his lands searching for evidences of Kulkucan, the Feathered Serpent, or Christ. Along his journey, he meets dissolute religious men, a gorgeous potter's daughter, a golden jaguar, and various fellow searchers for the truth. Yax is a stone carver and scholar of repute. His knowledge of herbs is a trove he can pull from in various instances.
He and his friends work to free a city from the slavery of crooked priests who use a crystal skull to terrorize the citizens into working in their salt mines.
Though a work of fiction, the book often reads as non-fiction. I felt as if I could open the flap of my tent and walk out into the jungles of the Yucatan peninsula.