A Mayan forest village lives happily and harmoniously, except the mean teasing of Blunted's inability to sire. When terrified refugees pass, the chief forbids the hunting party to 'spead fear', but the real cause soon follows.
Their own community is pillaged, the survivors cruelly enslaved and dragged away. The chief's proud son Jaguar Paw manages to hide his pregnant wife and toddler son, but in an unsafe place. The men are destined for bloody sacrifice to the gods in the raider kingdom's pestilence-stricken capital.
Jaguar Paw must survive fatal dangers, both seen and unseen, human and non-human, that loom around every corner as he tries to save himself as well as his family.