Rise of the Halfling King (Tales of the Feathered Serpent)
by David Bowles ill by Charlene Bowles
What a terrific concept: A series of graphic novels featuring Mayan mythology. Bowles brings his extensive Mesoamerican expertise to younger audiences. Stories from an often-overlooked culture are brought to life with colorful panels, intriguing plot and characters who jump off the pages and into the reader's imagination.
Rise of the Halfling King is the first title in Tales of the Feathered Serpent series. Readers are introduced to Sayam, a boy hatched from an egg. Almah, a witch and a healer, has cared for this strong-willed halfling since he emerged from the egg. As he grows older, the inevitable is apparent. It is time for Sayam to fulfill prophecy and dethrone the king.
It won't be easy. The malevolent despot employs the Guardian of the Underworld, a gigantic snake, to assist him with his diabolical schemes. Illustrator Charlene Bowles gives the serpent a frightful menacing quality that dominates each panel into which it slithers, fangs ready to strike.
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A generous trim size of 7 by 10.5 inches, oversized panels, and an easy to follow narrative make this an excellent choice for young readers.
Background information is placed at the beginning of the book. The map of Mexico clearly identifies cities and surrounding regions. The cast of characters features a small portrait with accompanying short bio. This facilitates reading from the story's onset, helping readers to place unusual locations and individuals in context.
Interested in an in-depth exploration of Mexican mythology? Bowles has you covered.
Feathered Serpent: Dark Heart of Sky is compilation short mythological tales from Mexico. The introduction offers valuable background information. A Guide to Pronunciation and Glossary are particularly helpful.
An excellent resource for those interested in exploring epic tales, world mythologies, history and culture of Mexico. Highly recommended for students, teachers, historians, and storytellers,