Top positive review
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Intimate story played out against epic background
on 7 December 2006
Gary Jennings's Aztec concerns the life of one individual man, his rise from humble beginnings to a man of wealth and influence, in ancient meso-America. If this sounds like an animated Disney film, I should mention that there are copious amounts of blood, sex and violence in this book.
I am generally not given to reading a lot of fiction but I was hugely impressed with this piece of work. Mr Jennings has created a truly memorable novel, filled with colourful characters and eventful set-pieces, a tapestry of romance, adventure, travel and history. It is hard to over-sell this particular book.
After visiting some of the places mentioned in this book, including the Aztec pyramids and reading some of the relevant history, I have the greatest respect for what Gary Jennings has achieved. The story is rich and evocative, the life of a meso-American civilisation at its peak is vibrantly brought to life; the clothing, the food, the rituals and the architecture, the wars and the human sacrifice. The introduction of the Spanish conquistadors and their subsequent destruction of a rich culture is painfully authentic.
As written above, I am not given to much fiction but this book was simply stunning. And no singing animals.