About the Book

In the Land of the Feathered Serpent is an epic tale of a Hero's Journey, told in the Homeric tradition, and set in the context of America's meddling in Central America in the 1980s.

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20% of all book royalties go to the Maya Educational Foundation (https://mayaedufound.org/)

For information on James Joyce, Ulysses, and Modernist Literature, click here.

In the Land of the Feathered Serpent is a story told by a young scientist just launching his professional career and feeling quite confident about the direction his life was going to take.  Instead, however, the bright but naïve young biologist, with an outsized libido and a hypersensitive nose, unexpectedly finds himself on an extraordinary journey of self-discovery, transformation, and enlightenment.  Dr. Odel Bernini’s journey becomes a Homeric adventure, set in the context of America's meddling in Central America in the 1980s.  In the end, the young scientist discovers that life is far more complicated than he ever imagined. With the help of an extraordinary woman first seen in his dreams, he is pulled from one life into another, discovering that a world of mysticism exists next to the silo of science in which he had been trapped.  On his journey he explores timeless questions around love, trust, and friendship, as well as the dark heart and bright hope of humankind.  The Epilogue shifts to third-person narrative and informs the reader of our hero’s post-journey whereabouts.


The story pays homage to Homer’s Odyssey (and James Joyce’s Ulysses), and many of the characters in the three novels are one-and-the-same.  As in The Odyssey, Feathered Serpent begins in the middle of the tale and then flashes back to fill in significant prior events.  Odel Bernini’s journey takes place both in the physical terrain and in the landscape of his mind as he travels through the lowland jungles of the Petén rainforest and the 10,000-foot high sierras of Guatemala’s Maya realm.  Odel gets caught up with dirty politics and the CIA, is seduced by a dark siren, is nearly killed by a Cyclops, and is swept into the world of Maya mysticism.  The facts, places, and most characters in the story are real; the political details and timing are accurate.  Odel Bernini and his close friends are, however, purely fictional.

The Latinized name of Odysseus is Ulysses. To see the lyrics of Tales of Brave Ulysses, click here.

 TEACHERS:  This novel might not be suitable for students under 18, but it would be perfect for 18+ age students.  If you are a K-12 Language Arts teacher, check out www.ELAHwy.com for great teaching resources (digital products for educators, many designed for at-risk students and all designed to help teachers).

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COVER ART AND AND DESIGN by Alex Boersma.  To see more of Ms. Boersma's outstanding nature art visit: www.alexboersma.com

Some location scenes from

In the Land of the Feathered Serpent

The Great Zócalo, Mexico City

Frida Kahlo home (Casa Azul), Coyoacán, Mexico City

Temple of the Feathered Serpent and The Citadel, Teotihuacan, Mexico

Hotel Majestic, Mexico City

Plaza Hidalgo, Coyoacán,

Mexico City

Inside Iglesia de San Juan Bautista, Coyoacán, Mexico City

Guatemalan Cloud Forest

Pyramid of the Sun, Teotihuacan, Mexico

Tikal, Guatemala (Maya)

The Temple of Hochoob,

Campeche, Mexico (Maya)

San Blas Islands, Caribbean coast of Panama

Trail in the Petén jungle, Guatemala


Pacific Coast of Nicaragua

Metropolitan Cathedral, Managua

Pacific Coast of Guatemala

Volcán Concepción, Nicaragua

Hotel Intercontinental, Managua

Flor de Caña rum

Maya woman with copál, Chichicastenango, Guatemala (1983)