An Indian story with a difference. More absorbing for detail than for lot, the setting is the Valley of Mexico and the culture that flourished there before recorded history. Slaves were part of the economy, which was mainly agrarian -- farming communities around a central city that included a public market. Blackwing, a youth of 15 or so, was captured by slave raiders who took all the ole bodied men they didn't kill. His parents and brother were killed and he was arried south to the central city of the people of the mounds -- The Place of Song and Dance. He had a nice head of hatred building up as he was being traded in the public market, but unfortunately for the lasting strength of the story, he was sold to a kindly farmer whose family he learned to love. Nevertheless, his introduction to slavery makes a compelling story. Slaves were allowed a patch of and, the possibility of buying freedom -- of eventually owning slaves themselves. The volcanic rock, which has preserved this culture for study, covered the city just after Blackwing decided to run away from a work party that had been sent to repair a temple. (The quakes that preceded the eruption were thought to be angry ods.) Blackwing decides to return to his worried owners, and through his eyes the reader witnesses a primitive Pompeii. Instructive fiction, happily free of ""Injun talk"" dialogue.