If,like me, you are curious about the Aztec world but not obsessed by it, this is probably the book for you . Unlike other,deadly dry,works on the subject ,which I have tried to read, this one takes the reader through the complex maze that is Aztec history and culture in a clear and concise way without ever being patronising. Richard Townsend is an immensely learned scholar, but he has the knack of cummunicating the structure and beliefs of this,to me at least,strange, and sometimes bizarre, society that flourished for so brief a period.Aztec cosmology and symbolism would in particular,have been a challenge to grasp if one was relying on a lesser author for guidence,but Townsend manages to convey the important concepts in a way that the general reader is able to grasp.
In addition,there is an abundance of well chosen illustrations, some in colour, which serve to clarify and enhance the text,and an impressive bibliography should you wish to further investigate the subject.
It is hard to imagine a better starting-off point for anyone wishing to explore this fascinating Civilisation.