The Visionary Mayan Queen: Yohl Ik'Nal of Palenque


The Mayan calendar molded her life. It decreed when she would ascend Mayan pyramids and become the first woman to rule in her own right. In misty tropical jungles 1500 years ago, at the height of Mayan civilization, a royal girl with visionary powers was destined to become the ruler of Palenque. Last of her lineage, her accession would fulfill her father’s ambitions. Powerful forces were allied against them to overthrow the dynasty. Her father trained her intensely in Mayan calendars, history and politics and cultivated support among nobles, while his cousins plotted with enemy cities to attack Palenque (Lakam Ha). 

Yohl Ik’nal (Heart of North Wind) put aside her personal desires and the comfortable world of palace women to meet challenges as royal heir. Love for her father steeled her will and sharpened her skills. Overcoming fear, she performed Mayan sacrifice as required of rulers. Her visionary powers enabled her to identify political opponents and predict enemy attack. The first Queen of Lakam Ha, she built temples to honor her father and her Gods. She protected her city and brought prosperity to her people. But she foresaw a time of darkness and devastation coming, predicted through Mayan calendars. Could she trust her vision to reveal the will of the Triad Gods? Would her choices cause ruin or bring her city to greatness? 

The story of this remarkable woman lay buried for centuries under crumbling Mayan ruins. She was one of the most powerful women in the Americas, but few have heard of her. Her accession carved a new glyph in Mayan history, preserving her dynasty and propelling it to heights of power and creativity. She was the grandmother of K’inich Janaab Pakal, the most famous Mayan ruler. In 1952 his royal tomb was excavated, the richest Mayan burial found and the equivalent of Egypt’s King Tut. 

In the midst of betrayal and revenge, through court intrigues and regional power struggles, she confronted personal crises and found a love relationship that sustained her. Enter the world of the ancient Mayans in this extensively researched historical novel that brings Yohl Ik’nal and her people vibrantly to life.