Black Sun; by Glenn Starkey

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MWSA Review
Historical fiction at its best—The Mexican Revolution of 1910

To understand a nation you must read its history. The author takes the reader on a journey beginning in 1900, told through the eyes of a fictional young man. Mexico is slowly sinking into chaos under the dictatorial rule of President for life Diaz. Foreign interests are raping Mexico’s resources and people while paying off the president and his cronies. Desperate people are capable of desperate action and the faint scent of revolution is in the air.
The story begins with fourteen-year-old Mexican peon, Arnulfo Triana, laboring in the Ojuela Mine near the village of Mapimí in the State of Durango, Mexico. Conditions are poor and the pay is minimal. Only the native Indians have worse working conditions. Garcia, the foreman, is sadistic and has chosen Arnulfo as his current target. Chamaco, an older miner with a varied background attempts to protect him from Garcia. 

Arnulfo witnesses Garcia assaulting a Yaqui Indian woman and uses a shovel to end her rape, giving the reader their first indication of the man the young boy will become. In gratitude, the woman presents Arnulfo with a gift. Events become confused and Arnulfo flees. Chamaco follows on a “borrowed” mule and the two become lifelong friends. Along the way they meet Pancho Villa and join him. During the following years, Arnulfo grows into a man, takes the name Indio, and becomes Pancho’s trusted companion as Mexico continues its downward spiral. Villa is a natural leader and a powerful force for the people against its dictatorial president.  Through Indio, the reader meets Emiliano Zapata, Abraham González, and many leaders of the coming revolution, including Francisco Madero, the man who would light the fuse.

The author’s descriptions of people, places and battles allows the reader to become part of unfolding events. Black Sun is a story of courage, despair, patriotism, deception, heroism, betrayal, loyalty, greed, honor and leadership—both good and bad. It is the story of the Mexican Revolution of 1910 and beyond.

MWSA Reviewer: Lee Boyland


Author's Synopsis

From the underworld of the Ojuela Mine to the majestic Sierra Madre Mountains and across the desert plains of northern Mexico, a boy is forced to survive and grow into manhood through a turbulent decade that erupted into the bloodiest revolution of the twentieth century–the Mexican Revolution of 1910.

On the run for a murder he didn’t commit, forced to hide even his name, Arnulfo Triana is swept into a maelstrom of tragedy as revolutionaries, led by his mentor and friend Pancho Villa, collide with the forces of a corrupt dictator.

Black Sun is based on actual events. A young man’s life unfolds against a background of poverty, injustice and political corruption that finally explodes into a devastating revolution.