Inca Moon
by Patrick Carmichael
Trafford Publishing

"He seemed to hang there for an instant, then slowly tumbled head to toe like a diver, but never straightened before he vanished in the yawning mouth of the Great Speaker."

Political intrigue, murder, family secrets, double agents, and sex, both of the good and lackluster variety: it's an interesting world for an Incan spy. It is doubly exciting when one has to fight against gender stereotypes within the Incan Empire. Qori Qoyllur and her twin brother, Qhari, have been hunted since childhood because of their family name. Not only was their father unjustly accused of taking part in two horrendous murders, but someone of very high rank within the empire wants to silence him and his family forever. Qori endures many trials and tribulations as she fights to stay alive, keep her brother safe, and avenge their father’s death. Qori understands that while she and her brother have many friends, they have just as many enemies, and an equally hard time distinguishing between the two.

Strangely fascinating facts about Incan customs are delicately woven into Inca Moon. Shortly before Qori takes part in an arranged marriage, she first has to be accepted by the founder of the village. Soon, it becomes apparent that the founder and the ancestors seated nearby are dead. More specially, they are mummies. "Exposed areas of their faces and hands showed brittle, dark brown patches of dried skin stretched over bone. Most had been dead longer than living memory. At least, their bodies were dead, but the parched husks still housed the part of their spirits that remained behind to watch over their descendants." These interesting historical details deliver a unique setting fully immersed in Incan culture.

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