“Robbins has an intriguing tale to tell about the complex relationship between these
two men and the indigenous people, and the very different paths they take. He has
fleshed it out with vivid descriptions of their surroundings and the hardships they
endure, effectively conveying the horror and wonder felt by the first Europeans to
encounter the civilisations of Mesoamerica along with an abundance of thoroughly
researched historical detail.”
-Simon Levack, author of Demon of the Air and Tribute of Death



3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating historical read!, August 28, 2011
By Ann Pullen, author - See all my reviews
Amazon Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Maya Lord (Paperback)

In 1511, a ship from Darién, Panama foundered in a terrible storm. Survivors, adrift for over a
week, eventually landed on the coast of the Yucatán Peninsula. Captured by hostile Maya
warriors, some escaped and became slaves of a different Maya tribe. Based on detailed
research into Spanish and Maya sources, John Coe Robbins has written a fascinating tale,
told from the fictitious perspective of the two men who survived these ordeals. Gonzalo
Guerrero, well-versed in Spanish warfare and resistance, wins his freedom by defending a
Maya village. Gonzalo becomes increasingly incorporated into Maya culture, eventually
marrying the daughter of a powerful chieftain. Father Jerónimo, a Dominican priest, remains
true to his religious vows even though enslaved, awaiting the day when he is able to carry out
his mission of saving souls in the New World. The arrival of Hernán Cortez and his men in
1519 severely tests the will of both men. Readers will enjoy the fast-paced action and the
captivating, if sometimes horrifying, descriptions of Maya culture and beliefs. As the brutal
Spanish conquest unfolds, however, readers cannot escape wrestling with the overarching
question Robbins poses in the book: What does it mean to be "civilized"? Maya Lord is
definitely a 5-star read!

Ann Pullen, author of “Nellie Arnott’s Writings on Angola”



1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
5.0 out of 5 stars Heart Sacrifice, September 7, 2011
By Larry Stanton, author - See all my reviews
Amazon Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Maya Lord (Paperback)

"Maya Lord" is the brilliantly researched novel of a little known but extremely significant
historical event. The initial contact of the Maya with the Spaniards didn't involve victorious
conquistadores. It was with thirteen pitiful survivors of a Spanish vessel shipwrecked in the
Carribean. The Maya showed them no pity. Several were heart-sacrificed almost immediately
and the remaining Spaniards were converted into slaves under the most deplorable conditions
imaginable. All died save the young pious initiate, Jeronimo Aguilar, and the hard soldier,
Gonzalo Guerrero.

I won't spoil the story by telling too much but suffice it to say that Robbins has meticulously
researched Maya customs, religion, and language and paints a graphic, sometimes horrific,
picture of a world now past. Artfully, he fills in gaps of documented history with vivid
descriptions of rites and life amongst the ruined monuments of the already extinct Classical
Maya period.

Without Jeronimo, Cortes wouldn't have been able to conquer the Mexica Empire. Jeronimo
spoke Spanish and during his captivity, became fluent in Mayan. Cortes rescued Jeronimo and
later gained possession of the lovely young Dona Marina---the infamous Malinche---who spoke
the Mayan tongue and the Mexica language of Nahuatl. Through Jeronimo and Dona Marina a
complex translation sequence occurred, ie, Spanish to Maya to Nahuatl and vice versa.
Therefore, Montezuma was captured and Mexico was subverted and conquered.

Larry Stanton, MD, author "Glory Days of Baja" (Best Stories of Baja), and "Arriba Baja".