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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent insight into the conquest of Peru, 2 April 2010
Steven Brown (Edinburgh) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Discovery and Conquest of Peru: Chronicles of the New World Encounter (Latin America in Translation) (Paperback)
Have read quite a few books around the Spanish conquest of South America, and came across this one purely by chance.

Am very glad I did. It offered an intriguing insight into the Spanish conquest of the area now known as Peru. Written as a memoir by someone who lived at the time, it provides some explanation how a small group of Spanish explorers could comprehensively defeat forces so much larger than them, why they did so, and a foretaste of how their lust for gold eventually cost most of the conquistadors their lives.

I can't quite give it 5 stars - the first half of the book is utterly gripping, and tells of the initial exploration of the coast, (when the Spanish seem to treat the natives with more respect), then moves onto Pizarro's stunning capture of Atahualpa. The book then slightly loses it's way. There is a lot of talk about the Spanish moving onto different areas, but it's a bit disjointed at times (partly because it was compiled after Leon's death, and had to be put into order), with not as much detail as one might like.

Leon often comments on his thoughts on the behaviour of the Spanish, the way the natives fought and behaved, and sadness comes clearly through the text.

In summary, a great read for any student of the period - I don't think it's quite in the same league as The Conquest of New Spain (Classics) but it's a very interesting and worthwhile read. Recommended.
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