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The Jaguar House, in Shadow [Novelette]

af Aliette de Bodard

Serier: Xuya Universe, chronological (CE 1986), Xuya Universe (short story)

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This story is the first in a series, as you can see here and on the author's website, here. You can download or read it for free on the author's website; click here.

As far as I know, there have - unfortunately - not been any anthologies with all or most stories assembled.

As the author's written on her website: "Xuya is a recurring universe in my alternate histories: the premise is that China discovered the Americas before the West, and that this led to a global Asian domination of the globe rather than the Western one–and to a space age dominated by Confucian powers (Chinese and Vietnamese galactic empires)."

This first story is set in Mexica, revolves around a Revered Speaker, who has ultimate power. Many Houses have fallen, save for one: The Jaguar House. Not everyone likes how the RS rules, especially not our main characters Onalli and Xochitl. The first is more careful than the other, who is (severely) punished for her sins, so to speak. Onalli wants to get her out, free her. Tecipiani, their former friend, has become Head of the House and has taken the role really seriously.

All in all, de Bodard did a good job (friendship , betrayal, political and military conflicts, ...), though not everything is revealed. It's a short story, after all. Maybe, when one reads the other stories, more will be clarified and understood.

So far, so good. If and when I'll read (some of) the other stories, remains to be seen. But again, having the stories in book-format would be a better and more convenient solution, in my humble opinion.

( )
  TechThing | Jan 22, 2021 |
This story made me think very hard about the nature of sacrifice and what I would do for my friends. ( )
  tldegray | Sep 21, 2018 |
A few comments on this story and the wider Xuya universe can be found here. ( )
  Valashain | Mar 19, 2011 |
Political conflict in an alternate world where the Aztec empire has survived. Nice conflict of idealism and the real world. ( )
  sdobie | Sep 2, 2010 |
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