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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive, readable and authoritative!
When I was first introduced to "A Forest of Kings" by Linda Schele and David Freidel, I was, frankly, a bit suspicious. Another book on the Maya by a couple of well-meaning outsiders focusing on bloodletting and the mysterious ballcourts? I was surprised to find this book to be scholarly, highly readable and not goulishly focused on the bloodier aspects of this...
Published on 12 July 1998

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3.0 out of 5 stars Hard going
I would recommend this book to people who have much advanced knowledge. It is written in great depth and not a beginners book
Published 20 months ago by Widge


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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive, readable and authoritative!, 12 July 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: A Forest of Kings: The Untold Story of the Ancient Maya (Paperback)
When I was first introduced to "A Forest of Kings" by Linda Schele and David Freidel, I was, frankly, a bit suspicious. Another book on the Maya by a couple of well-meaning outsiders focusing on bloodletting and the mysterious ballcourts? I was surprised to find this book to be scholarly, highly readable and not goulishly focused on the bloodier aspects of this ancient culture. Their deft translation of Mayan pictographs and symbolism is very well done. The book is loaded with black and white line drawings of carvings and inscriptions with translations along side. There are detailed explanations of Mayan cosmology and an explanation of the calendar reputed to be the most accurate ever invented. It also includes extensive notes for each chapter. I don't know how else they could have been handled, but reading "A Forest of Kings" involved having several book marks at once, so I could read the notes, refer back to other illustrations and photos and keep my place in the text. Over all, it's fascinating reading for an amatuer who's fascinated with the Maya. I only wish I'd had this book when I visited the Yucatan!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fact-packed newly-understood "true" Maya history., 24 Feb 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: A Forest of Kings: The Untold Story of the Ancient Maya (Paperback)
I have read this book twice, and recently (Jan-Feb'99) carried it with me on a trip to Palenque and Yucatan. Translated some of the epigraphics at Palenque into Spanish for tourists and employees of the site. Their urgent request: WHERE CAN WE GET THIS WORK IN SPANISH?! The rich, dense text, full of historical and epigraphical references, gives a dense, full picture of Maya culture -- at least the ruling ahau culture -- as it has rarely been seen or published before. The writers have made a good effort at aiming their work at your average lay-Mayanist, who does not possess the expertise or desire to rummage through hundreds of scholarly papers or books dense with pottery sequences. As a result, their work can open knowledge of the ancient American Maya to an audience which hungers to learn more of that history. Please, please, consider publishing a Spanish translation, or, if this has been done, PLEASE publicize and distribute that translation. An entire new world is waiting. The governments and anthropoligical/archeological institutes of Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, and Honduras must understand how many Spanish-speaking people want such a work!
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mayan history was never so fun to read!, 30 July 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: A Forest of Kings: The Untold Story of the Ancient Maya (Paperback)
This book is phenomenal. Linda Schele is a gift to Mayan studies. She brings the Maya to life through her work reading and translating the ancient pictographs. This book has the glyphs themselves translated syllable for syllable in the context of the history as it is understood. Pictures of Mayan art and recreative semi-fictional vignettes literally bring ancient Cental America to life.
For those who want to know more about the Maya but cannot afford a trip to Mexico or Guatemala, this book offers a fascinating look at MesoAmerica that will change your perception of the world.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Reads like short stories and holds one's interest, 21 July 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: A Forest of Kings: The Untold Story of the Ancient Maya (Paperback)
The authors help bring to life the lives of rulers of ancient Mexico. Stories are pieced together from artifacts, stelae, buildings at Tikal, Uaxactun, Piedras Negras, Chichen Itza, and other sites. Interesting and at times speculative, rich with the flavor and color of the Mayan aristocracy of times gone by.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a wonderful journey into the ways of the Maya., 15 Feb 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: A Forest of Kings: The Untold Story of the Ancient Maya (Paperback)
If you are looking for an fascinating introduction, this is the book for you. No one writes about the Maya as Linda Schele, one of the anthropologist's responsible for the latest and most accurate translations of the Maya, did. The shamanic Maya kings intrigue many people and the authors of this book make them come alive with all their foibles and vanities intact. Knowing that the Maya continue to live in their Central American homeland means that this book is a vital history lesson for the Maya people who have often forgotten their own interesting past.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Hard going, 17 Nov 2012
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This review is from: A Forest of Kings: The Untold Story of the Ancient Maya (Paperback)
I would recommend this book to people who have much advanced knowledge. It is written in great depth and not a beginners book
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A Forest of Kings: The Untold Story of the Ancient Maya
A Forest of Kings: The Untold Story of the Ancient Maya by Linda Schele (Paperback - 14 Oct 1993)
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