Description: A young girl called Tozi stands at the bottom of a pyramid, waiting to be led to the top where her heart will be cut out…
Pepillo, a Spanish orphan who serves a sadistic Dominican friar, is aboard the Spanish fleet as it sails towards Mexico…
This is the epic story of the clash of two empires, two armies and two gods of war. Five hundred desperate adventurers are about to pit themselves against the most brutal armies of the ancient Americas, armies hundreds of thousands strong.
This is a war of gods and men. Dark powers that work behind the scenes of history show their hand as the prophecy of the return of Quetzalcoatl is fulfilled with the arrival of Cortes. The Aztec ruler Moctezuma fights to maintain the demands of the war god Huitzilopochtli for human sacrifice. The Spanish Inquisition is planning an even greater blood-letting.
Caught up in the headlong collision between two gods of war are Tozi, Pepillo and the beautiful sex slave Malinal whose hatred of Moctezuma runs so deep she will sell out her own land and people to destroy him.
Opening: Tenochtitlan (Mexico City), Thursday 18 February 1519: Moctezuma loved eminences, for to stand on any high place was to be reminded that he was the greatest and most magnificent of men, wielding the power of life and death over all he surveyed. Yet of the countless high places in his kingdom, none offered him a deeper and more abiding sense of ownership, or clearer evidence of his own importance, than the summit platform of the colossal pyramid on which he now perched, soaring three hundred feet above his glorious capital city Tenochtitlan, which in turn stood on an island in the midst of a vast lake at the centre of an immense valley surrounded by lofty, snow-capped mountains.
As expected, the beginning is a veritable gorefest of human sacrifice – those Aztecs weren’t big on heart, unless you’re talking about ripping it out of a live body! The book is a top to toe bloody adventure, which is in keeping with the subject, yet I am sure that the reader doesn’t have to be shown so many gore scenes, we get the picture Mr. Hancock, truly we do.
The different storylines are very exciting in their own right, especially when Cortes does a moonlight flit in one chapter, whilst the three are at the top of the pyramid in the next. Phewie!
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LATER: as the adventure proceeds there is increased switching between all the perspectives, a mere couple of paragraphs to a storyline then…
For me, this heightened the excitement, yet I can see that others will get fed up, RIGHT HERE, with this approach because honestly, there is a huge cast of two dimensional characters in what can only be called teams, each with their own agenda.
If you fancy a blood soaked story ending in a battle between three gods then I can recommend this
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‘You know nothing, Ahuizotl! – Memories of Jon Snow – P.206
‘Moctezuma felt it coming now, felt death all over him like a swarm of bees’ – Memories of Eddie Izzard – P.208
Diego Velasquez de Cuellar
FROM WIKI: Noting the weakness of the natives, Velázquez authorized the importation of black slaves in 1513. He authorized various expeditions to explore lands further west, including the 1517 Francisco Hernández de Córdoba expedition to Yucatán (see: Spanish Conquest of Yucatán), and Juan de Grijalva’s 1518 expedition. He was made the 1st Adelantado of Cuba with jurisdiction over the former Governorship of the Indies. He initially backed Hernán Cortés’s famous expedition to Mexico but pulled back his support before the expedition was scheduled to launch and then that was the end. Cortés disobeyed Velázquez’s orders to disband his expeditionary force and left for Mexico anyway.
By the way, does anyone else remember Atari’s Montezuma’s Revenge? This book reminds me of that game.
If you would prefer a non-fiction then I heartily recommend this. It is just as crammed with gore, natch!
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