***Warning: huge, suspense-ruining spoilers ahead! If you'd rather read this book in its entirety, get it here.***
Book 1 ended with NAYSIN, the Red Wraith, summoning four less-powerful shamans to a Mississippian pyramid and tapping their abilities to immunize all Native Americans against disease. The Black Resurrection begins with two of those shamans, AMADI and ISAURA, waking on the pyramid to find Naysin gone and the other shamans dead or missing. Amadi and Isaura descend the pyramid and head to a nearby village to reclaim SHOTEKA, Isaura’s infant son. But he’s missing too, taken by kidnappers who’ve left a ransom note written in Mandarin.
The kidnappers are DA and JIE, Chinese siblings who crossed the Pacific in search of QUEXCL, the shaman who died on the pyramid. Da had hoped Quecxl would use his healing talents to cure Jie of a wasting disease. After learning of Quecxl’s death, Da improvised and stole Shoteka to draw Isaura and Amadi to Huancavelica, an infamous Peruvian mercury mine. Da did this on the strength of a vision Jie “mirrored” that showed all of them at the mine and her fully healthy. He used his own power—infecting people with “puppet spores”—to take command of CHASE, the missing shaman.
Both groups travel south, with Amadi and Isaura in pursuit of Da, Jie, and Chase. In Mexico City’s burgeoning Chinatown, Isaura finally finds someone who can translate the ransom note. It tells her to go to Huancavelica. HARU, a speedy Japanese mercenary, adds that Da, Jie, and Chase entered Mexico City the day before. Isaura and Amadi split up and race through the streets. Amadi finds the Chinese siblings first and chases them onto one of the city’s causeways. But Haru—spored by Da now and acting on his orders—fights Amadi and defeats him, despite his ability to regenerate. Isaura catches up and turns the tables until Jie mirrors her water magic. Chase, translating for Da, reminds Isaura to meet them in Huancavelica and knocks her out.
Two months into the next leg of the journey, Haru urges Da to join with a Spanish silver caravan for protection from marauding runaway slaves in the jungles of Panama. Amadi and Isaura are temporarily taken hostage by a group of these slaves, who force Isaura to dowse wells for them and Amadi to join a raid. He’s part of the expedition that strikes the caravan. The runaways overpower the guards, and Amadi takes custody of Shoteka.
Upon returning to the runaways’ camp, their leader prevents Isaura from reuniting with Shoteka and uses him as leverage to compel her to assassinate the leader’s rival. She reluctantly agrees, but before she can carry out her new task, the rival turns up and starts a civil war. In the chaos, Jie, spored by Da into believing Shoteka is her son, seizes him and runs. Amadi and Isaura follow but are separated and hurt. Haru—freed from Da’s spores—atones for her part in the kidnapping by pledging to help Isaura get to Huancavelica.
Along the way, all three parties prepare for the final confrontation. Haru and Isaura ally with a local Native American tribe planning to tear down Huancavelica’s “Mine of Death.” Da spores a troop of mercenaries from Lima. Amadi gathers information about URCON, the gray-skinned boy Da seeks at the mine.
Haru and Isaura get there first and lay a trap for Da. They nearly catch him, but once again, Jie reflects their magic and staves them off. Da reasserts his control over Haru and spores Isaura as well. Yet no one can locate Urcon.
Amadi arrives a day later and, seeing Isaura captured, agrees to find Urcon for Da in exchange for her and Shoteka’s freedom. Urcon turns out to be living in the mine, and Amadi realizes that the boy’s power—swapping the properties of objects or organisms—is why Da lured everyone to Huancavelica. He wants Urcon to put Amadi’s regeneration in Jie.
Amadi tricks Da, though, and puts the regeneration in Da instead, swapping it for his ability to command. Now that Da can’t control anyone, he loses the last fight. But he still manages to snatch Shoteka and run deeper into the mine. Isaura pursues him and wins her son back. Her relief is short-lived: the mine’s toxic environment poisoned her boy.
Isaura can’t help him, and neither can Amadi. But Jie sacrifices herself to save Shoteka. Then Da buries Jie and commits suicide in the mine. Amadi, injured in the fighting, dies from wounds he can no longer heal.