In the Courts of the Sun

In the Courts of the Sun

by Brian D'Amato

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“A stunningly inventive novel that . . . weaves together Mayan history, modern science, game theory and the coming Mayan apocalypse. BEWARE DECEMBER 21, 2012!”—Douglas Preston, author of The Monster of Florence
It was predicted. We were warned. December 21, 2012. The day time stops.
The year is 2012. Jed DeLanda, a descendant of the Maya, is a math prodigy raking in profits from online trading. But Jed’s life is thrown into chaos when his former mentor, Taro, and a mysterious female game designer enlist Jed’s help in deciphering an ancient Mayan codex containing the secrets of the Sacrifice Game.
It foretells of the end of civilization, and only Jed can prevent the coming apocalypse. He must play the Game himself—in a mind-bending journey that stretches from thousands of years into the past to the very brink of the end of time.
“Remarkable . . . prodigious in its scope, its originality, its ambition, its intelligence, and the mastery of its research. In a word: awesome.”—Raymond Khoury, author of The Last Templar

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781101028735
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 03/26/2009
Series: A Jed de Landa Novel
Sold by: Penguin Group
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 704
Sales rank: 1,018,938
File size: 5 MB
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Brian D’Amato is the author of BeautyIn the Courts of the Sun, and The Sacrifice Game. He is also an artist whose work has been shown in galleries and museums, including the Whitney Museum and the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York City. He divides his time among New York City, Chicago, and Michigan.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"A remarkable, unique, stand-out book…. In a word: awesome. Or brilliant. Make that two words: awesome and brilliant." —-Raymond Khoury, author of The Last Templar and The Sanctuary

Customer Reviews

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In the Courts of the Sun 3.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 36 reviews.
harstan More than 1 year ago
Since the recent discover of a new Mayan codex from the seventh century, many people are beginning to believe in the Mayan prediction that the world will end on December 12, 2012. As the date of doom approaches, the Warren Group, firm believers that doing nothing will prove the Mayans right, decide on several methods to delay the end. They especially feel the first step is to send someone back in time to the seventh century when the prediction surfaced into the mind of a Mayan royal as the key to learn why the deadly forecast.

The Group believes Jed DeLanda, an expert on the Mayan¿s Sacrifice Game, has the perfect focused mind they need. They send his conscience back through time to 664 AD targeting the monarch; instead his conscience enters the mind of seventh-century Mayan Sacrifice Game playing superstar Chacal seconds before his host is to suicide as a sacrifice.

This is an exciting doomsday science fiction thriller that moves the audience back and forth between the countdown to 2012 and the original prophesy in the seventh century. The story line in both centuries is well written and exhilarating while Jed is a believable hero in both eras. Fans will especially appreciate the vivid descriptions of the Mayans society especially insight into the Human Sacrifice game and the purpose of the Great Pyramid. IN THE COURT OF THE SUN is a refreshing unique thriller.

Harriet Klausner
BerkeleyBob More than 1 year ago
I bought this on impulse, because of my interest in Mayan culture. Have read Coe, Schlee and others, visited several sites, including Tikal. I am about 3/4 of the way through this gripping read. Although there is a time travel premise, I don't think this falls within the science fiction genre. It is extremely well-researched and the author has a real feel for meso-America. The hero is likeable, a modern Maya with extraordinary computational skills who hopes to avert the end of time as predicted in 2012. If you are a fan of Stephenson and want an offbeat but intellectually stimulating read, this delivers. Big time. Kudos to the author.
sable_jordan More than 1 year ago
I am usually not one to give a review on a book i didn't (or, more precisely, couldn't) finish, however i feel it necessary to speak my mind on this one. I tried slogging through this work of prose, but it is, in a word, tedious. Let's just say i didn't get very far ( in 4 days , mind you, and i can polish off a 600-pager like it was "see spot run") and am truly disappointed as I was very much looking forward to this read. High marks for originality and the book cover, but the detail was so overwhelming that I had a hard time focusing on the plot. Perhaps I'll give it a try another time, but if it's all to end in 2012, i think i'd be better off spending those 2 & 1/2 years reading something i truly enjoy.
Jeff_5333 More than 1 year ago
I would definitely recommend this book to anyone wanting something outside of the norm. It was actually quite difficult to read, his style is odd to say the least, but the manner in which he wrote it showed he was a normal joe, people can relate. He did not talk down, or up it was like you were in his head the whole time experiencing everything right along with Jed and Jed2.
DSB7 More than 1 year ago
This book definitely makes it into my top ten best books EVER. It is so imaginitive, so mind-bendingly interesting that you can't wait to get home to read the next chapter. I've nearly ruined my eyes trying to finish this fantastic story. In addition to being such a great tale, it is also hilarious and I find myself laughing out loud. Love, love love this book and what an extra bonus to find out it is the first of a trilogy!
ROVA More than 1 year ago
The wry, cocky first-person narrative works well, and the storyline is engaging, but the book bogs down in overly detailed, moment-by-moment descriptions. Clearly, it's being stretched into a trilogy. Overall, Mesoamerican cultures are vividly portrayed, and the plot IS clever. Latin American History and sci-fi are big interests of mine, so more than likely I'll read the remaining volumes... but probably in paperback.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is the first book I've actually stopped reading. I only made it to page 200 and it was so slow I almost fell asleep reading a couple of the chapters. The explanations the author offers for certain events just don't seem plausible. Also he brings politics into the mess. In the beginning the book jumps all over the place. I don't recommend this book to anyone.
dragonfly7 More than 1 year ago
I was looking forward to reading this book but ended up forcing myself to plow through it in the hopes it really was going somewhere. Why didn't I just put it away? The subject fascinates me and the plot was imaginative. However, the author's flip writing style was unappealing and seemed to mock the subject.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I liked the book overall. The historical perspective I thought was excellent. The only real drawback to the storyline was the unbridled vitriol that author has for those who don't show his political views. It overshadowed the story unfortunately and would have been much better off if it had been masked and left out of the storyline. It was brought up as often as the author thought he could add it and even played an intrinsic role. A shame.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I purchased this book for enjoyment while in Mexico this summer touring the Mayan and Aztec sites. The book was so slow towards the middle of the book that I decided to leave it in my hotel room for the next was not worth my time or interest to finish it. Sorry for negative feedback to the author....
aprillee on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Time-travel is impossible... too many problems with paradoxes, and besides, if it was possible, where's the evidence of people visiting various periods of time? However, with modern technology, in the very near future (2012), they find that they can copy a particular consciousness and send it back in time to take over a dying person's brain (dying, because they must get effectively blank the other person's brain in order to inhabit it, effectively killing the personality, and because it's less likely to cause any paradoxes that could change the course of events). So, when a wealthy organization decides that it¿s in their interest to look into the direful predictions in a recently discovered Mayan Codex, they attempt to send a copy of Jed DeLanda's consciousness back to 664 and the courts of the ancient Maya in an attempt to discover more about what they knew.Jed is a quirky and strange protagonist, to be sure. He's a brilliant mathematician with admitted personality problems. He doesn't empathize well, perhaps because he was ethnically Maya and orphaned at a young age when his parents were killed by one of the many campaigns against his people, and brought up via various Mormon agencies seeking to aid native people. So PTSD could account for some of his wildly irreverent behavior. But one of the things he brings to the table is his ability with a Mayan Sacrifice Game that he was taught as a child. It is thought that the game, all but extinct in the present, was critical to determining the prophecies of the Codex. Jed had been having success applying the Game to the commodities markets, but the desire to reconnect to the lost past of his roots drives him to contact the scientist/researcher Taro Mora who has been studying the Game and who is being bankrolled by the aforementioned corporation. On a practice run using the Game , Jed and the others on the project determine that one of the events noted in the Codex would likely occur nearby them in Florida, and indeed, a horrific terrorist attack happens, from which Jed and noted game designer Marena Park, who is in charge of the project, and her young son barely escape. This event pushes them all on to actually sending a part of Jed back in time. Back in the past, Jed's time inhabiting one of the Maya is a total roller-coaster (as if escaping from a terrorist attack wasn't bad enough). The description of the people and the cities was convincingly alien and fantastical. His adventures, grueling and action-filled.This book is LONG and at times rambling, but there is suspense and excitement and adventure to spare, whether back in time, trying to save himself from sacrifice and death, and hoping to find some clues that may avert the major disaster that may occur in 2012, or back in the future, dealing with mysterious corporations and government entities and crazies out to end the world. It's also a smart story, with a mix of science and math and theory, as well as history, which suits the quirky genius of Jed and the other scientists and their attempt to save the world. And it's a smart-ass story, with Jed's bizarrely unsocialized personality and wise-cracks and multiple references to everything in pop culture (and literature, the sciences and history), as well as games--those electronic ones popular with kids today and those used to make ancient prophecies. I was completely fascinated with it all and am curious about what happens next. The story arc is concluded in a major way in this book, but the author clearly means for there to be a sequel, with a little twist added at the end.
nevins on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Too much detail, not enough plot.
bridget3420 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
According to the Mayan calendar, the world is going to end on December 12, 2012. The Warren Group is trying to use technology to figure out a way to stop the world from ending. In the end, will their work pay off or is hope beyond reach?This is an exciting book that truthfully scared me out of my wits. I can handle horror novels and scary movies but this book shook me to my core. Not because of monsters or serial killers but because this is a true prediction, it struck a nerve. The writing is superb and I'm going to have to add Brian to my list of favorite authors.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Aside from the fact that you have to be a Maylan or a scientist to understand what this book is all about, the story line was not that good. I will definetly not read the second book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good plot, rambling character thought processes, pseudo-scientific incomprehensible formulae. Overall an okay book but should have been edited more than it was.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was ready to to buy this book, because I am interested in the Mayan culture. I read the reviews and I thought, hmmm Too many negatives. Then I read the sample, I could not understand all the jumbled up words and sentences the author was writing about. When I finished reading the sample, I had no idea what I had just read. Do I want to buy this book, I don't think so. I want to read about the Mayan's and 2012. Not Dick Cheny and politics.
RMiller41 More than 1 year ago
Sorry. I reached page 111 and had to stop. I am a man who admires good crafters of our glorious language, and the "boom-chika-boom" jive, popular teen "like" language turns my stomach. Mr. D'Amato might try writing for adults.
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writemywrong More than 1 year ago
I loved and hated this book. I was so put-off by D'Amato's incessant use of "that is", that is, re-explaining almost every joke/reference/technical jargon instead of doing a sufficient job of it in the first attempt. The gonzo-style narrative was coaxing at times and at other times annoying. I didn't need to know every single step in Jed's thought process. It dragged on quite a bit at times. However, as much as particulars vexed me, I DID finish the book and (I feel almost ashamed to admit) the author has me hooked for the second book. Kudos to him for that. I love the idea of the book and the theory of The Game. Detail in a novel is its essence, but too much essence in this book left a bit of a perfunctory scent in my nostrils. I would recommend it... just not to everyone.
CJmo More than 1 year ago
This book is a lifetime favorite; I can't wait for Brian D'Amato to publish the next book in his trilogy, promised to arrive by the end of 2010. It's a great book for cultural difference discussion. I'd just returned from my ninth visit to South America, living and studying among modern day, poor & middle class Bolivians. It's common there to mix culture and faith/s. Life's not black & white, but filled with story and myth, contradictions. I found D'Amoto's story, style, characters and attention to detail to fit seamlessly with existing Latino & Indian cultures. The Sacrifice Game, chaos and game theory, creation stories, the old god myths depicting 'end of time;' it blended well. They made 'game' sense to me. I found his characters believable and interesting, quirky and courageous or malevolent, scary or oddly disconnected. From Jed-Jed2 to the porters and different clan members and minor players (Jed's family). A favorite was the ancient nun - very effective! Knowing and respecting my 'Mayan/Aztec,' friends, I realize that it IS a story! Imagination is crucial to consider things he posits; yet so were flight, traveling thru space, even many surgeries now performed daily. All those events and actions are things we now take for granted, yet few people on earth actually understand how they transpire. A rare group of visionaries 'see' them; and they happen. Not so different from Mayan seers who 'see' the future,' and help it happen or not. INTCoTS is definitely NOT a novel for the faint of heart; you need to read it, like "The Sparrow" and "Children of God" (Mary Doria Russell) with an open mind. (Added to that, I can understand that the overt use of psychogenic drugs to 'see' what happens, might cause some folks a case of serious nervous exhaustion! It's not an easy cultural leap to make if you are a person who doesn't "go there" as a matter of course or habit.)I can understand that people might find it difficult, given the western propensity for categorical answers, perfection and success at almost any cost. The potential outcome of a cataclysmic end for life as we know it (in the story) can seem unnerving, especially if your cultural lifestyle has added to its final unraveling. I feel that what other reviews may have missed, by not reading the entire book/story, is that we all ~ as humans do this to ourselves and others. We bring about our own end, by choosing to harm others and not caring for the earth. That said, we all have our hiding places, and ways to cope or deal with reality that gets too hard. I liked it; no, I loved the book. I loved it from the start all through his calendar work and use of the porters to priestess clan, the description of sounds and smells, the use of myth and story. I've seen the positive & negative effects of 'religious groups and cults' within our American society, each up-close and personal. Given the results of the global mistakes that each culture has made or allowed to happen as countries/ individuals), we've no room to judge other people/cultures, or to call their ways primitive, improbable or outside the realm of possibly of offering hope and life. We don't have the freedom to dismiss others, despite faith or political leanings. There's no cultural, religious, etc., "safety net" that makes all the bad things that go bump in the night disappear. I think that we learn from myth and story how to look at and deal with our f
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