Dark Sun, Bright Moon is historical fiction based very much around beliefs of the Peruvian people and how they see the Universe that they live in. Set around 1000 years ago at a time before the Inca people this book tells us of a people whose knowledge of the cosmos was thousands of years old.
The book opens with the gruesome but accepted practice of human sacrifice, where the elderly were happy to meet their end for the good of the community and their own souls. We learn about Apu, god like entities which form from energy and can control human behaviour. We also learn of Yachaq’, humans who can harness the power of the Universe, leaving their bodies via trances and going to alternative realities. The Peruvian belief is that at least 3 layers exist in the cosmos, like energy centres, they can form and manipulate any number of alternative realities.
We learn of the Huari, a parasite like disease which was infecting the people and their communities eating away at their ability to be individuals and thus suppressing their ability to produce Hurin, a type of energy food. The Huari needed to be stopped and a young girl Q’ilyasisa a descendant of a powerful Yachaq’ wass chosen. She was trained to use her natural powers and selected by a powerful Apu, called Alcavicca to eliminate the Huari and then to help him create a new nation. This goes some way to explaining how historians have unearthed evidence of empires seemingly being wiped out overnight.
Q’ilyasisa was herself re-created many times and was titled with Mama Q’ilya (Mother Moon) during a phase of nation building. She went on to successfully create two new empires before leaving to become an Apu herself. The story ends with a possible release of a mass template to expand the human world across the planet, far from the boundaries of Peru. Those in the story knew nothing of the world outside the Andes but historians agree that there was a mass expansion around much of the world at this time as communities, trade and art leapt into the medieval world.
This is a huge book, some 570 pages with pictures, useful glossaries and appendices to help explain much of the unfamiliar concepts and words. I believe a paperback copy allowing the reading to easily move back and forth an ideal method of reading this book. It is a fascinating subject matter and it is interlaced with very good descriptions of the land and the people, their costumes and everyday lives. There were numerous small typos throughout my paperback copy of the book which had been missed and if tweaked would enhance the reading experience.
This review is based on a free copy of the book given to me by the author via Book Publicity Services.
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