“‘Messenger of Zitól,’ he said in a booming voice, even though the girl was standing right in front of him. ‘Ask the gods to grant us another year of rain and sun for our crops. Beg them to protect our great city. Thank the gods for their preservation of our traditions and culture!’ The Messenger’s face was composed, but Rishi could see the violent trembling of her hands. Then drums began again, quiet and slow.”
When Rishi is kidnapped and taken to Zitól, she faces an unthinkable future: she is to be sacrificed to appease the gods. To survive in this place, where greed, lust, and fear eclipse compassion, Rishi befriends the selfish and ignorant king, only to discover that he may not have the power to save her after all. In this gripping romance of ancient America, Rishi will have to help the king learn about restraint and true love if she wants to stay safe and alive.
This book is about Rishi who gets taken captive to the great city of Zitol, about which her grandfather used to tell her fantastic stories. Rishi gets chosen as the Messenger, which means she’ll be sacrificed to the gods in a year. Her future seems really bleak until she meets Nadal, who is supposed to be the king of Zitol but is being shoved aside by the awful Speakers…
This was a rather unique story. I honestly haven’t read anything quite like it. Although it was written in the point of view of Nadal, the story was actually all about Rishi and her sacrifice to remain true to her virtue, so this made for a very interesting narrative. I also thought the story carried a very powerful message.
I really liked the relationsip between Rishi and Nadal, especially how it grew from friendship into something more and changed Nadal into a better person than he was raised to be. I also adored the bond Rishi shared with her brothers.
The Last Messenger of Zitol was in one word: magnificent. It was well-written, I loved the setting of this fictional city in ancient Mexico and the two protagonists were wonderful to read about, especially the heroine of the story, Rishi. This book couldn’t have been any more perfect. I loved it.
Chelsea Bagley Dyreng is the author of “The Cenote.” She was raised in Wyoming and Idaho and earned her BA at Brigham Young University. She worked for several years as a librarian before moving to North Carolina where she and her husband are raising five God-fearing, book-loving, adventure-seeking kids.