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.
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 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.
Fabulous! I've read it twice. Prepare for a journey into the past of Mexico. The book covers 1529-1531 as the narrator, Mixtli, records his knowledge of the past of his own tribe as well as others. Thus, the actual history covered starts about 50 years prior to 1529.
If you love historical fiction, you will LOVE this book so much that you will not lend it to anyone. This is my most favorite historical fiction (my favorite genre anyhow) book of all time, and I am 56. I've read this book at least five times. Having been given the grace of attending an alternate high school that was run like a university, I had chosen to study, for History, the history of the Conquest. Oh, heavens! What happened when the Spaniards came to the Americas changed the entire world, forever.
Let's pretend that you do not like studying history. It's good then to find historical fiction on your topic. Gary Jennings, I could tell from my past studies, had a very thorough knowledge of the tribes of middle America, those that were conquered by Hernando Cortez, on a search for riches. Because the natives of middle America believed that their god would come back someday, on a boat, they thought that the Spaniards brought their god back to them, and then, so many, many mistakes happened!
This book starts with a letter by the King of Spain back in the 1500s (Juan Carlos, the king that had funded Cortez's conquest), requesting that the Catholic friars that raped the middle native Americans of their religious beliefs after Cortez stole their gold, find a living Aztec so that he, the king, could find out what the Americans' lives were like before Cortez ever landed on the Yucatan and headed into the interior of Mexico. Since very few Azteca lived after the conquest of what is now Mexico City, only one was found who daily explained to the friars the truths of his culture.
This book is absolutely fascinating. The one other book that is historical fiction that I've read more than twice is "Centennial" by James Michener. I heartily advise that if you can, get Aztec in a format that you can look at the maps provided on the hardcover's interior. They MIGHT BE on a page in a softcover paperback, but I do not know.
It's a great story told in a very magnetic atmosphere that keeps you riveted to the pages. Sometimes it seems that you are there in the past where history unfolds itself. There are many amusings insights into the pretensions and prejudices of one culture over another. If you like historical fiction with more than a grain of truth, you will enjoy this read.
I really had a difficult time getting into this book. I didn't get through 50 pages before I put it down and said forget it. The dialog was pretty tedious. I think it would be better to listen to on audio, at least for me. It has gotten great reviews, so, who am I to judge. Definitely give it a try. I can read just about anything, and this just didn't do it for me.