THE FLAME OF PEACE: A Tale of the Aztecs by Deborah Nourse Lattimore

THE FLAME OF PEACE: A Tale of the Aztecs

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Based on motifs in Aztec art and the author's ""educated guesses based on research and knowledge of the period,"" this is an unusual literary tale. After the death of his father, Two Flint goes in search of the Flame of Peace. On his quest he meets and outwits nine evil demons, reaches the Hill of the Star, and obtains the Flame of Peace from Lord Morning Star, thus ending hostilities between his people and the people of Lake Texcoco. Lattimore uses symbols from Aztec art and mythology in an intriguing manner; a visual key is provided at the end of the book. Teeming with movement and detail, vibrant colors against buff pages framed in red, the illustrations can be deciphered using the text and motif key. The repetition of elements results in an almost overwhelming similarity in the sometimes crowded pictures. The writing is occasionally ponderous, but for the most part nicely complements the art. The subtitle is misleading, as this is fiction, not folktale; but the ornate artwork is sure to attract readers with its intricate, puzzlelike qualities. Although the author states that ""Not much is known about Aztec mythology. We know who their gods were, but there are almost no stories about them,"" two collections of Aztec folktales by John Bierhorst are currently available, The Hungry Woman (1984) and Doctor Coyote (p. 300--C-42).

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1987
Page count: 48pp
Publisher: Harper & Row