Aztec - Aztec, Bk 1 Author:Gary Jennings Here is the extraordinary story of the last and greatest native civilization of North America, at the height of its magnificence. It is a story told in the words of one of the most robust and memorable characters in modern fiction. His name is Mixtli-Dark Cloud. Rising above his lowly station, Mixtli distinguishes himself as a scribe and later a... more » warrior. He earns a fortune as a traveling merchant, exploring every part of what the Aztecs called The One World-the far lands of mountains, jungles, deserts, seacoasts.« less
An absolute masterpiece. I have read this historical novel of ancient Aztec culture 3 times in the past decade and am enthralled each time. Jennings performes everything with master strokes: completely real characterizations; plot lines that evolve in unique but fully believable ways; intense pathos; hundereds of details that prove his commitment to research and colorization of time period; a style that is facinating to read and rings true in the first person of the main character. The structure brings the reader into the life-recollections of this Aztec merchant, soldier, trader, diplomat and advisor to kings leading to a climax of vivid tragedy. Ultimately sad as a chronicle of the death of a culture but not without humor and moments of wry comment on human foibles. I have recommended this book to all my relatives and many others. This one will stay with you forever.
This book was recommended to me by a terrific tour guide when I was traveling in Mexico. It is a great read of historic fiction and really gives you a feeling of the Aztec culture. Terrific! I\'m looking forward to reading the other books by Gary Jennings.
This novel, despite its years, is enchanting and captivating; I could not put it down, and rushed to read its sequel, Aztec Autumn. It immerses you in an imagined lost world, the Mexican peninsula before the Spanish conquest, and it paints a sophisticated and learned culture utterly destroyed by the heedless conquistadors. If you love well written, well researched historical fiction, or to learn about a long ago time, you will love this book.
This is the story of a man and his people. It is the story of Mixtli, who rises for above his lowly station to distinguish himself as a scribe and later a warrior. He earns a fortune as a traveling merchant, explores every part of what the Aztexs called the One World--the far lands of mountains, jungles, deserts, seacoasts.
Wit Mixtli we experience blood - drenched but awesomely grand sacrificial ceremonies; we encounter other blood-curdling forms of violence; we suffer the shattering personal tragedies with which the gods have ordained that Mixtli must pay for the honors and riches that he earns; and we meet love and sexuality in numerous varieties, from the forbidden first love of his childhood to the ghastly proclivities of a cruel queen, to the great, enduring, and tragic love of his life.
A sweeping saga of love, loss, and war, Gary Jenning's lengthy novel pulled me in from the first page. The story follows the life of Mixtli, a man of the Mexica people, who were descended from the Aztecs and lived in "The Heart of the One World" - Tenochtitlan. When Spanish conquistadors (led by Cortes) take over what we now call Mexico, they enlist Mixtli, near the end of his life, to tell the story of the Mexica to the Spanish king. Mixtli is a powerful voice - engaging, often humorous, and sparing no detail, no matter how gory or sexually taboo. It really doesn't seem like this novel is over 1000 pages - I never forgot plot details and it read so smoothly. I thought it gave great insight as to the culture, the reign of the man we call Montezuma, and how the Spanish were able to conquer Mexico. An amazing book.
Truly an amazing, wonderful book! I laughed, I cried, I was shocked and offended, outraged and enchanted. I learned something and was thoroughly entertained the entire time. This book is not for the feint of heart! You get incest, rape and all sorts of sex. There's cannibalism, pagan rituals, human sacrifice, and all sorts of violence and gore. You also get beautiful storytelling and moments of magic, tenderness and wonder. The utter destruction of the Aztec (Mexica) people by Hernan Cortes and his fellow Spaniards was a tragic, sad waste. Yet another dark chapter in the history of the world. The main character is wonderful. Truly an amazing man. I cannot recommend this book highly enough. It is one of the best books I have ever read. Pick it up if you're up for an amazing adventure.