Human sacrifice, communities eaten from within, a vast mind blazing under the mud of Lake Titicaca; the rise and fall of empires cruel and kind.
In the Andes of a thousand years ago, the Huari empire is sick. Its communities are being eaten from within by a plague, a contagion that is not of the body but of something far deeper, a plague that has taken their collective spirit. Rooting out this parasite is a task that is laid upon Q’ilyasisa, a young woman from an obscure little village on the forgotten borders of the Huari empire. This impossible mission is imposed on her by a vast mind, a sentience that has ambitions to shape all human life. Her response to this entails confrontations on sacrificial pyramids, long journeys through the Amazonian jungle and the establishment of not just one but two new empires. Her legacy shapes future Andean civilisation until the arrival of the Spanish.
Dark Sun, Bright Moon explores the unique Andean metaphysic: not one of gods and heavens, but a cosmology developed over millennia of isolation, developed over generations by its practitioners but at constant war with the various state religions. It has been systematised from current beliefs, but is essentially authentic to them. As described in the book, therefore, this cosmology is a concrete thing, neither magic nor religion but a technology with a logic of its own that drives the story line. However, this is above all an adventure story in which credible people undertake rational if desperate acts in the face of extreme threat.
Dark Sun, Bright Moon is illustrated with over a hundred images (B&W, engravings and maps) and consists of around 170,000 words set in 40 chapters and an appendix, which last gives extensive background material. The author knows modern Peru very well, and has visited all of the physical sites that are described in the book.