MIGICHI by Judy Burke


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That the ancient Incas almost invariably seem more interesting in historically-based rather than fictionalized recreations is born out by this story of the son of a humble maize farmer who makes good within the rigidly confined society. A special destiny was forseen for Migichi and his sister Matiku after they successfully overcame the stigma usually attached to twins. Sure enough, Matiku is chosen out of a crowd to be honored as one of the Daughters of the Sun. Migichi's achievements--risking death to deliver an official message in place of a badly injured runner, tending a royal vicuna herd, helping to destroy a marauding mountain lion--bring him to the attention of the emperor and he becomes one of the rare peasants to be chosen for training as a knight of the royal guard. The story is not very cohesive, consisting mainly of a chronological list of achievements, many of which are poorly explained in terms of the Indians' special values. Often the details about daily life are conveyed in answers to questions asked by the twins, who seem surprisingly uninformed about their own traditions. The transparent characters provide a colorless setting--Migichi is just another dusty relic.

Pub Date: Feb. 15th, 1966
Publisher: Crowell