Xibalba Gate Reviews

“This is the best novel I have read in some time. And the Maya supernatural domain is accurately portrayed. Students of the Maya should fasten their seatbelts and hang on tight for this adventure, where two apparently separate worlds become fascinatingly less so.”
—Payson Sheets, University of Colorado

“Xibalbá Gate is a temple-sized shot of adrenalin in the guise of politically savvy kings, cunning courtiers, sinister court dwarfs, ever-resourceful sorcerers, mostly faithful—and ever superstitious—peasant farmers, and more, whose uniquely luxuriant religious shtick breathes vibrant life into the Classic Maya—so much so that the ancient Maya who are so distanced from us in time and space intrude themselves into every reader’s contemporary life. Want your students to take on the material remains of the long-gone Maya seriously, intensely, and intimately? Assign Swigart’s book. You’ll hear a chorus chanting, ‘bring on the dates, phases, and pottery types!’”
—William Rathje, Stanford University

“The author has combined the lively intrigue of a well-crafted novel with a distinctly 21st-century take on every archaeologist’s fantasy. In this case, the fantasy time machine is cast as a computer simulation that takes readers—like the players in the book—deep into the lowland Maya world on the eve of the Classic collapse. Like today’s increasingly realistic computer games, the increasingly gripping narrative will capture students and faculty alike. And when the chills subside, will provide lots of opportunity and incentive for talking about events and conditions of the Terminal Classic.”
—Wendy Ashmore, University of California, Riverside