Poet, Novelist, Children’s Book Author, Workshop Facilitator, Artist & Musician
Paperback • 6 x 9 in • 252 pages
$15.99 USD / £15.22 / €17.83
$4.19 USD $5.22 Canadian
Mad God of the Toltecs – a Story of Quétzalcoatl
When Hernando Cortés arrived in Mexico in 1519, Montezuma, the Aztec emperor, believed him to be the god Quétzalcoatl, returning as promised. According to the Indigenous story, Quétzalcoatl was white and bearded, much like the Spanish conquistador. What followed was one of the most devastating chapters in the history of mankind.
This novel tells a story of Quétzalcoatl – the major Toltec, Mayan and Aztec deity.
In 910, an Irish priest and five monks are shipwrecked in the Hebrides and taken as slaves by Norse traders. Through a series of cataclysmic geophysical events, the Norse ship is pushed to a strange new land, where the priest, three monks, an Irish girl and two Norsemen are left to learn the ways of the Indigenous People, in order to survive.
One monk – the priest's spiritual rival – marries a chief's daughter and eventually becomes a shaman, opening the gate to a new understanding but contributing to a spiritual crisis for the priest, who escapes into madness. The mad priest and his companions travel on, reaching the Gulf of Mexico. The priest recovers his sanity and the Europeans seem content to remain among the fishermen natives.
Miraculously, they find remnants of the serpent-headed Norse ship and decide to rebuild her. With a large contingency of Toltec warriors, the Europeans sail to Yucatan where the priest founds a new Toltec capital city in the desert, is made king, and becomes the historical embodiment of the Mayan-Toltec god Quétzalcoatl.
The shaman-monk is summoned by visions to rescue the priest from forces of evil. Battles are fought and good men die. When everything seems to have been resolved, fate steps in fulfilling the mystery, beauty and horror of the Quétzalcoatl myth.
120 page film script based on the historical novel.
Created on Final Draft
The Shaman's Vision – sample audio file
Canadian Authors are Saying
If you enjoyed Gary Jennings’ Aztec, Ben Nuttall-Smith’s Mad God of the Toltecs is the book you’ve been waiting for. This blending of Irish, Norse, and Precolumbian mythology will keep you turning pages. Peopled with intriguing characters and with a meticulously researched historical background the action is non stop from shipwreck to Aztec sacrifice as the legend of Quétzalcoatl the feathered serpent is given a truly original twist.
Patrick Taylor. New York Times and Globe and Mailbest selling author of the Irish Country series.
This far-reaching novel eloquently displays the author’s love of history and storytelling. Mad God of the Toltecs rampages from monastic life in the old world to exotic practices on a distant continent. En route the reader is treated to the lifestyles of impoverished Irish monks, marauding Vikings, the first nations in a new world and the early civilizations of what would one day become Central America. Ben Nuttall-Smith has crafted a fascinating tale of enormous scope.
Anthony Dalton. National President Canadian Authors Association Author of ten non-fiction books about the sea and about exploration.
In his saga of a probable life of Quetzalcoatl of Mexico, Ben Nuttall-Smith gives life to scenes of Vikings, Irish monks, North American early peoples and Toltecs through his painter’s eyes via his much research into local flora and fauna. His action-filled, often lethal encounters with varying dialogues spin from poems to prayers in Latin and other rituals, until the reader’s imagination is fed enough to feel seasick on the Atlantic, or taste strange herbs, or be in awe of feather decorations. Nuttall-Smith is instructive and entertaining.
Bernice Lever. Prize-winning poet and author. Generation, Black Moss Books,
In the time-honoured tradition of historical novels, Ben Nuttall-Smith's Mad God of the Toltecs skillfully weaves illuminating facts and engaging story and characters into a complexandcolourful tapestry.
As multiple cultures collide and commune, we are taken on an unparalleled adventure from the Emerald Isle to Iceland's windswept barrens to the boundless prairie and verdant forests of America to the steaming jungles of Mexico.
We gain invaluable insights into the daily lives and grandeurs of the rich and creative First Nations cultures of the Americas as their destinies are played out in this sweeping saga of damnation and redemption.
Sylvia Taylor. author, journalist, Executive Director, Federation of BC Writers
In this, his initial entry into historical fiction, Ben Nuttall-Smith offers unique and valuable perspectives to readers, based upon extensive research. In the current, dominant atmosphere of secularism and skepticism, he presents Christian clerics as his chief protagonists, and he describes First Nations tribes, during pre-Columbus times, as more culturally advanced than commonly thought. Most importantly, he vividly presents a remarkable way of life, in which man, nature, and the Divine are inseparable.
I heartily recommend this novel to teachers of early Christian and Native North American history and to all those who enjoy a tightly written, fast-paced, and highly entertaining read.
David C. Manning. Retired educator/curriculum developer (Native Studies)