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War God: Nights of the Witch Hardcover – 30 May 2013


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 500 pages
  • Publisher: Coronet (30 May 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1444734377
  • ISBN-13: 978-1444734379
  • Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 4.5 x 23.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (152 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 154,178 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

When I was East Africa correspondent of The Economist, writing about wars, politics, economics and aid programmes, I had no idea where fate was going to lead me or what strange seas of thought I would find myself sailing on. But in 1983 I made my first visit to Axum in northern Ethiopia, then in the midst of a war zone, and found myself in the presence of an ancient monk outside a little chapel in the grounds of the cathedral of Saint Mary of Zion. The monk told me that the chapel was the sanctuary of the Ark of the Covenant and that he was the guardian of the Ark, the most sacred relic of the Bible, supposedly lost since Old Testament times. What he said seemed ludicrous but for some reason it intrigued me. I began to look into the Ethiopian claim and found much surprising and neglected evidence that supported it, not least the faint traces of a mission to Ethiopia undertaken by the Knights Templar in the twelfth century. I kept adding to that dossier of evidence while also continuing to pursue my current affairs interests (including Lords of Poverty, my controversial book about foreign aid, published in 1989), and finally, in 1992, I published The Sign and the Seal: A Quest for the Lost Ark of the Covenant, my first full-fledged investigation of a historical mystery.

As well as to Ethiopia and to Israel, my research for The Sign and the Seal had taken me to Egypt and opened my eyes to the incredible enigma of the Great Pyramid of Giza, while the "technological" aspects of the Ark (shooting out bolts of fire, striking people dead, etc) had alerted me to the existence of out of place technologies in antiquity. The stage was now set for my next project - a worldwide investigation into the possibility of a lost, prehistoric civilisation that resulted, in 1995, in the publication of Fingerprints of the Gods, undoubtedly my best known book. Keeper of Genesis (co-authored with Robert Bauval) followed in 1996, looking specifically into the mysteries of the Great Sphinx of Giza, and then in 1998 Heaven's Mirror, photographed by my wife Santha Faiia, which shows why many ancient sites in all parts of the globe replicate the patterns of constellations on the ground and are aligned to important celestial events such as the rising points of the sun on the equinoxes and the solstices. In 2002, I published Underworld, the result of five years of scuba diving across all the world's oceans to find ancient ruins submerged by rising sea levels at the end of the Ice Age.

After Underworld, I decided to step away from lost civilisation mysteries for a while and my next non-fiction book, Supernatural: Meetings with the Ancient Teachers of Mankind, published in 2005, focussed on shamanism, altered states of consciousness and the astonishing universal themes that appear in rock and cave art from deepest antiquity right through to the paintings done by shamans in the Amazon rainforest today.

From my years as a journalist I've always distrusted armchair theorising and believed I have a responsibility to seek out direct personal, "boots on the ground" experience of what I'm writing about. That was why I did five years of often difficult and dangerous scuba diving for Underworld. And it's also why, as part of my research for Supernatural I travelled to the Amazon to drink the visionary brew Ayahuasca with shamans there. As well as better equipping me to write Supernatural, my experiences in the Amazon changed my life and brought out a new side of my own creativity. I've continued working with Ayahuasca ever since and in 2006, during a series of sessions in Brazil, in a ceremonial space overlooked by images of a blue goddess, my visions gave me the basic characters, dilemmas and plot of the book that would become my first novel, Entangled, published in 2010. Entangled tells the story of two young women, one living 24,000 years ago in the Stone Age, and the other in modern Los Angeles, who are brought together by a supernatural being to do battle with a demon who travels through time.

Since the publication of Entangled I have also written the first two volumes of a series of three epic novels about the Spanish conquest of Mexico - the War God trilogy. The first volume, War God: Nights of the Witch, was published in May 2013, and the second volume, War God: Return of the Plumed Serpent, is published in October 2014. The third volume, War God: Apocalypse, is already more than half written and will be published in 2016 but in the meantime I am putting the finishing touches to a new non-fiction book, Magicians of the Gods, which will be published in late 2015. Magicians is the sequel to Fingerprints of the Gods, and presents all the new evidence that has emerged since 1995 for a great lost civilisation of prehistoric antiquity and for the global cataclysm that destroyed that civilisation almost 13,000 years ago - a cataclysm on such a scale that it forced mankind, as Plato put it, "to begin again like children with no memory of what went before."

My ideas on prehistory and on the mysterious nature of reality have made me something of a controversial figure. In 1999, for example BBC Horizon made a documentary ("Atlantis Reborn") attacking my position on the lost civilisation. But part of that documentary was found by the UK's Broadcasting Standards Commission to be unfair - the first time ever that the flagship Horizon series had been judged guilty of unfairness. The BBC took the problem seriously enough to put out a revised re-edited version of the programme a year later. More recently, in 2013, my TED talk "The War on Consciousness" was deleted from the TED Youtube channel on grounds that TED itself later admitted to be spurious by striking out every one of the objections it had originally raised to my talk. TED, however, refused to restore the talk to its Youtube channel resulting in dozens of pirate uploads all over the internet that have now registered well over a million views.

I make mistakes like everyone else, but ever since my time with The Economist I've felt it is important to strive for rigour and accuracy, to check facts, to set out my sources clearly and openly for all to see and to admit my mistakes when I make them. As I continue to explore extraordinary ideas in my works of non-fiction, and in my novels, I'll also continue to do that.


Product Description

Review

Reviews for War God (Various)

...part historical fact, part fantasy, the effect is as intense as the events themselves. It's a fascinating read that will have you booking a flight to Mexico long before you finish the book. (Evening Standard)

Interweaving historical fact and vivid fiction, Graham Hancock's War God is packed full of blood, guts, conflict, sacrifice and witchcraft in the last days of the Aztec empire. The story of the Spanish conquest of Mexico and the downfall of Moctezuma is the perfect (if very gory) distraction from modern life. (Wanderlust)

Five hundred years ago the old Mexican prophecy which announced the return of Quetzalcoatl came true. In an era dominated by human sacrifices and the decadence of a great culture, bearded men, white-faced, from beyond the sea, arrived to impose their law. In this fast-moving highly reccomended novel, Graham Hancock masterfully reconstructs the biggest clash of civilizations ever, revealing aspects that only a genius author could unveil. (Javier Sierra New York Times bestselling author of The Secret Supper and The Lost Angel)

The book offers up a heady mix of action, politics, spirituality and the supernatural and we learn a lot...Convincing fantasy elements and viscerally recreated details keep the narrative charging forward. (Daily Mail)

It will have you hyperventilating within minutes... Meets all the "thriller" criteria with gusto. (Newcastle Journal.)

Graham Hancock has, once again, produced a book that entertains as well as educates...War God is a rich and deeply involving novel that grips you from the very first page. If you can handle the gruesome detail, then you will devour every page and the end will come too soon, leaving you desperate for book two... (Sir Read-A-Lot Blog)

Reviews for Fingerprint of the Gods (Various)

Intriguing ( Sunday Times)

...his sweep through the ancient world is arresting and audacious. (Daily Mail)

...one of the intellectual landmarks of this decade. (Literary Review)

Book Description

The epic story of the Spanish conquest of Mexico.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Amazon customer on 31 May 2013
Format: Hardcover
I don't think I've ever read such a massive book so fast but I really couldn't put this one down. I'm a big fan of Graham's non-fiction work and I didn't know what to expect about this one but it certainly exceeded expectations!

The characters are all very well developed and you get caught up in all of their stories, though I think Tozi is probably the real hero of the book. It also taught me a lot about the events surrounding the Spanish conquest of Mexico, which I didn't know much about before. War God has inspired me to research this fascinating period of history.

Well done Mr. Hancock!
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Hero's Journey on 3 Jun. 2013
Format: Hardcover
I have been following Hancock's work since he wrote Fingerprints of the Gods. For me, Fingerprints was akin to taking the "Red Pill", a la Matrix. It woke me up. Ever since, I have been following his research through books like Talisman, Sign and the Seal, and Supernatural. So, like many I suppose, I was slightly disappointed at first to learn that Mr. Hancock had ventured into fiction. Yet, given my interest in the Mayan and Aztec civilizations I gave it a shot and ordered War God. Boy, was I ever wrong. In short, I finished the book within 48 hours - a rarity for me. And, here I am, writing a review - another rarity.

War God is an epic piece of literature. The manner in which Hancock infuses fiction with fact is delicious. In my humble opinion, this is how some history books should be written. The magic that Hancock creates is in how he seamlessly manages to bring the reader into the very midst of the action in a way that the dry history book accounts of similar events are incapable of doing. I gained a deeper appreciation for Cortes' strategy to reach Mexico, the overwhelming odds that his team faced against the power and might of Moctezuma, and the politics between the various indigenous tribes. The fictional element of viewing history through the eyes of Tozi, the young teenage witch, Malinal, the courtesan, Pepillo, the young spanish orphan, Father Munoz, the Friar, Shikotenka, the warrior, and Alvarado, the talented swordsman - brings it all so incredibly alive. Hancock's detailed descriptions, imagery and conveyance of such varied emotions made me feel like I was an "observing" character in his book. This has the makings of a fantastic film.

This is more than a worthwhile read - it is a must. Kudos to you, Mr. Hancock. I want more!
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Michael Bolz on 31 May 2013
Format: Hardcover
I was stunned by this book in many ways.

The author described the scenes so vividly that I sometimes felt like I was present.

The fact that it's a novel based on real historical events made it even more thrilling. I learned something about Cortez and his companions :)

The psychedelic aspect of War God, to me, was the topping of the whole package. It gave the book a mystical dimension that I loved.

It simply was one of the best books I have read in many years. I will definately recommend it to my friends and family.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Susman VINE VOICE on 10 July 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
1519 and the Aztec Empire is at its zenith, their Empire is perhaps the most powerful in Americas, there `age' is dominated by human sacrifices. Although human sacrifice is practised throughout Mesoamerica, the Aztecs for their part took to this bloodthirsty practice to new levels of religious zeal. The architecture of the Aztec Empire is truly impressive, as can be seen by the Great Pyramid of Tenochtitlan. For the Aztecs their decadence saw no bounds, as they seemed to have conquered all in their wake.
When the Spanish appear on the scene, almost by magic, they appear in their fleet of strange looking sea faring vessels and land on the coast and begin their headlong journey into the Aztec hinterland. You get a feel for the way in which these, Europeans who are almost alien peoples to the Aztecs, sweep away all that oppose them. Cortés and the rest of his Spanish invaders wield carnage and inflect defeat after defeat on the Aztecs, as they destroy in a few months an Empire that had been around for nearly one hundred years. For me, Mr Hancock artfully recreates the biggest clash of civilizations, revealing aspects that only a scholar in the field would have the knowledge to put together, couple this with his skill as a great story teller. Then throw into the mix the `characters on the ground', minor players in the history of the time. However, in this weighty novel - they are main stay of the book- Tozi, Pepillo and the slave Malinal; these characters are the main ingredient in this historical fiction. They are brilliantly constructed characterizations and they bring this book to life, as they are caught in the events of the time and place.

This has been my first reading, and certainly will not my last, of a book written by Graham Hancock, War God is real sizzler of summer read. I am somewhat impatient to read his next novel and hope it is out soon.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Quester73 on 25 Jun. 2013
Format: Hardcover
My son lent me a copy of Graham Hancocks new book WAR GOD (Nights of the Witch) and as a prolific reader who enjoys fiction novels of ancient History from authers such as Simon Scarrow, Conn Igguldon, Anthony Riches, Douglas Jackson, Ben Kane, Harry Sidebottom and many more, I must rate this historic novel as one of the best I have read in a long time. I thoroughly enjoyed this novel about the ancient Aztecs as you can visualise the characters and how cruel and bloodthirsty the Aztecs were and also the bloodshed and carnage the Spanish inflicted on the population. I found the novel captivating and very hard to put down when i was reading it and am very much looking forward to the next novel in the series (Return of the plumed serpent).
Yours Sincerely and Fraternally
Peter C Wright
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