Awakening Cocijo by Thomas Juarez

Literature & Fiction / World Literature 

We meet the ancestors of the Zapotec people, Danaá, the great seer, the high priest. He has seen his young apprentice, Beedxe, become the Nagual, a gift from the gods. Beedxe is in the last stage of boyhood and they are on a journey to Lyobaa for him to become the man he is destined to be.  They are joined by Ayotli, he creates the most beautiful jewellery for the ‘elites’, especially for Kings and Queens, but, he creates magical stones that he lovingly crafted for Beedxe and help his connection with the Jaguar.   

He was Nagual. The Jaguar.

We see the ceremony and learn of the rituals and sacrifices the priests and apprentices give for the coming of age for Beedxe, he becomes one with the jaguar, physically and mentally, the ceremony in situ the transition is complete. 

We are then transported to the modern day and introduced to Gus and Citalli, who are drawn together from a vision that Gus has had, not realising that there is a connection between them. They travel to the historic site Lyobaa with the intention to stop thieves stealing from the gods but this then triggers events that were foretold.  

My Thoughts

Overall I did enjoy this novel. The novel is broken down into three parts, the ancestors, and the prophecy (so to speak) then the descendants, I found the format took a while to get used too. I was really intrigued to learned about the Zapotec people, even if it is on loosely based facts, it was very interesting.  

The characters in part one of the novel are well written, the description gives you the sense of the traditional way of the indigenous people, some parts were overly descriptive but I understand setting the scene was key. In part two and three, characters were well developed and did not deter from the traditional Zapotec people, they were just modernised. I do wonder if there will be another book, a series at all? Upon reflection there are a few questions still unanswered.  

Thank you Juarez for the insight into the Zapotec indigenous people and their beliefs.  

Awakening Cocijo by Thomas Juarez 

Print length – 234 pages


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