By Aliette de Bodard
Angry Robot, $15.99, 896 pages
Aliette de Bodard’s Obsidian and Blood is an old-fashioned fantasy doorstop, including three novels, and coming in at almost 1,000 pages. The novels in this trilogy revolve around Acatl, high priest for the dead in the Mexican Empire, as he struggles to keep the balance between the natural and supernatural worlds. De Bodard’s research is through, and she immerses readers not only in the action, but also in the sights and sounds of a world as foreign to most of us as any alien planet. Acatl is a compelling character, and the mysteries pull the reader along, although most readers will not be able to unravel the plots without a through knowledge of Mesoamerican religion. These novels are not for everyone.
In addition to the substantial length of this book, there are many descriptions of sacrifices, both human and animal, as well as ritual bloodletting. Squeamish readers should definitely look somewhere else.
Reviewed by Katie Richards