Earrings of Ixtumea

Urban fantasy; YA

Fifteen-year-old Lupe Hernandez wishes she was blond, white, and popular. She dismissesthe legend her Mexican grandmother tells about a treasured family heirloom-a pair of rubyearrings-as a silly fairytale, despite recurring nightmares. But when the earrings thrust her intothe parallel world of Ixtumea, she must confront the very thing she shuns-her cultural heritage.Lupe’s journey takes her through a dense Mayan jungle to the damp underground kingdomof Malvado, where a rebel leader plots to keep her from fulfilling her destiny. She is guided by ahot warrior protector named Teancum, who tells her about a prophecy of a long-awaited youngprophetess. She trains with the Spider Goddess, who teaches her the sacred knots that bind bothworlds together. And she meets her long-lost mother, Concha-who is now a dangerous enemy.Life as Lupe knows it will never be the same!

"Dream balances nightmare as Lupe makes a spiritual journey, comes face to face with living gods, and learns the truth about her parents, her own origins, and her destiny. Author Kim Baccellia uses Lupe's spiritual journey to frame some profound thoughts about our view of physical perfection (and how a Latina copes in a blonde world) and how traditional beliefs integrate with those of a faith like Catholicism. (When you're being threatened by Tezcatlipoca, do you pray to the Virgin of Guadalupe or to Ixchel?) Though herself a Mormon, Baccellia seems to have a good grasp of Latin Catholic sensibilities. In a genre market (fantasy) that is dominated by Celtic mythology and heroes drawn from a northern/western European aesthetic, a book featuring a young Latina heroine and a culture drawn from Native Central American and Hispanic influences is a welcome change. - Midwest Book Review"

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