This is a sequel to WASTELAND OF FLINT, but the back-story is woven in so well that you don't actually need to read volume #1 (though I plan to get it anyhow!)
Harlan postulates a world in which the Americas were not 'discovered' and settled by Europeans. Instead, Japanese refugees merge with the Aztec culture and thrive to spread across the Earth...and beyond to a star-spanning empire.
From back cover: Xenoarcheologist Gretchen Anderssen had hoped to enjoy a well-earned vacation. She hadn't seen her home-world or her children for many months. But the Company has other plans for her--when she checks in for her transport, she finds new orders for her team. It looks like only a small diversion--a quick trip to the Planet Jagan, to investigate reports of a possible First Sun artifact. She doesn't have to run an excavation, or even gain possission of the artifact, just file a report. But it smells bad, says Gretchen's Hesht companion, Magdalena. David Parker, the Company pilot asigned to Anderssen's analysis team agrees. And they are so right.
Jagan is very dangerous territory indeed. Because, unbeknownst to anyhone at the Company, the Imperial Mexican Priesthood has decided to wage a war on Jagan--a war not of conquest or defense, but a 'flowery war.' planned and fomented for the purpose of blooding the Emperor's youngest son. Gretchen and her team are headed right into the middle of the battle.
It may be a War of Flowers, but many people will die, and blood will flow in the streets.
This is an enthralling story of adventure and mysticism set in an alternate universe. In this universe the Japanese were driven from their islands by Mongol invaders and landed in South America before the Spanish did in our universe. Now, somewhere about 2500 CE, Aztecs rule Earth with the Japanese as their second in command. Europeans are definately third class citzens. Our heroine, Gretchen, is an archologist who specializes in alien ruins. Her employer is a company on the lookout for artifacts from an alien civilization from a billion years ago which are all worth an unbelivable fortune. The company sends Gretchen to follow up on a rumor of such an artifact on a world about to be torn apart by a revolution.
Not bad. Not as good as the first book in the series "Wasteland of Flint". Much more military action and less of the "mystical" side of the story.
The story does flesh out the universe more, which was nice.