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4.7 out of 5 stars162
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 31 May 2013
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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on 31 May 2013
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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VINE VOICEon 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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on 25 June 2013
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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on 3 June 2013
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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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 13 August 2013
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This is similar in many ways to The Mongoliad: Book One (The Foreworld Saga) - in that we have a lot of historical detail, but the character groups are fleshed out in a fictional manner. We also have the elements of Fantasy - ever-present gods, magical powers and prophecies.

Again we are looking at the most brutal of absolute leaders and through the eyes of groups on opposite sides of the great upcoming conflict. We just swap continents and eras for similar stories. If anything though, we have more action and more gruesome details of the horrific times - but what draws us in, are the personal stories of those involved - what it means to them.

Graham Hancock has a lot of historical research to go on and acknowledges these sources at the end of the book - but he also emphasises that it is a fantasy novel and in this case, unlike the collaborative nature of the Mongoliad, it's all his own work.

This book quickly becomes a page-turner, as we switch between the different groups of characters in the 50-60 chapters. The historical world is described in sufficient detail to make it feel immersive - but the action is constant and gathers momentum very quickly.

This is an extraordinary moment in history and this book jusifies the "epic" setting - but it races past and is an easy read, providing you are not too squeamish about human sacrifice and torture. It's not for the faint-hearted but this is a real situation that is part of the world's history. In some ways, with our too-comfortable lives, it is difficult to imagine or even believe how people lived through this - but we know they did and Graham Hancock helps us understand this.
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on 31 July 2013
I have read, and re-read all of Graham Hancock's books. I listen to his podcasts regularly. his discussions with Joe Rogan are particularly enlightening. I rank Graham Hancock amongst my favourite authors, alongside Wilbur Smith and Ken Follett. His writings are inspirational and challenge me to question mainstream, conventional views. This book is utterly amazing, read from cover to cover in a day (the only other book to have kept my interest to do this was The Eagle Has Landed back in the 70's).

Mr Hancock is a serious researcher and eloquent storyteller. This is the best 'factional' book I have read in a long time. Let's hope the mainstream, 'don't disturb my eating trough' historians learn to respect those with alternative views and theories. Well done Graham...
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on 9 August 2013
I have thoroughly enjoyed this novel, I am almost finished with it and am feeling anxious that the ride will soon be over. In fact I read so much and so fast at first, that now the realization has hit me that I'm almost done, I'm very slow to pick it back up. I was turned onto this book by following Graham, his books are very well put together and should be on the study list for every school. I really enjoyed Graham's other Fiction Novel "Entangled"! As soon as I had my chance to grab this book, I bought 3 copies from the UK (I'm in the US), to give away as gifts. Mr. Hancock was so gracious that he personally handwritten 3 dedications to adhere in each of my books, which I was very humbled by. What a magnificent human being Graham is, he has offered the gift of deeper learning and thought to all of us, and I hope that many more will pick up his work and transport themselves to another world.
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Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I had read a number of Hancock's "non-fiction", conjecture based books in the past and often found them entertaining, if sometimes a little far-fetched in their conclusions. I was therefore keen to see how he would tackle a fictional tale, albeit one restricted by known historical fact.

This is a two-day book; you won't get through it in one sitting, but I would advise against taking too long to read it. It is full of unfamiliar place names, character names, and other terminology, so I would imagine it would be quite easy to lose track of the story if you were continually putting it down and picking it back up later.

The story is well told, but it's a pretty generic tale of primitive Mexican tribes and their Spanish conquerors. A great deal of the first half of the book will be familiar to anyone who has seen Mel Gibson's "Apocalypto" movie, dealing in some considerable detail as it does with matters such as tribal skirmishes, primitive superstition, and ritual human sacrifice. The book continues on from the endpoint of the film with the beginning of Cortes' incursions into what is now Mexico, and this second half of the book is equally violent and bloody.

If I have a criticism of the book, it is that too many unfamiliar words are used, their meanings never properly explained. There must have been a dozen different types of Spanish knives/daggers/swords, but it was impossible sometimes to be precisely aware what was being written about at any particular time. Similarly, Hancock refers casually to several types of vegetation without illustrating his point properly. Was this a shrub, a species of grass, a tree? Usually an approximate idea could be gleaned from the context but occasionally something would make it clear that your idea could not have been correct.

I addition, I can confidently state that Hancock's favourite word is "obsidian". Almost everything in this tale is made of obsidian (tools, plates, armour, weapons, etc.), or has obsidian blades, or is the colour of obsidian (usually black, according to my dictionary - thank you for such lack of clarity). This becomes quite wearing and really shows a lack of imagination. Obviously I haven't counted, but the word must crop up well over a hundred times throughout the book. Someone get Mr Hancock a thesaurus before he releases the follow-up!

Overall, it's quite an enjoyable read, but the writing is repetitive. I don't suppose there are too many ways to describe chopping off a bloke's legs in battle, but I would appreciate if Mr Hancock could find some more ways of doing so for part two, which I understand is currently in progress.
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on 13 August 2013
A fascinating-masterful historical examination of the "horrifying cruelty" of the Mexica culture (Maya & Aztec) of the early 1500's. A real spellbinder! Hard to put down! The talented author GRAHAM HANCOCK must be thanked for this diligent & creative effort not to forget or cover up our common heritage- as fellow souls on this planet-but rather to come to some understanding of the unspeakable acts of "inhumanity" that occurred. Unfortunately,our shared history of mankind abounds with episodic & reoccurring acts of violence from one group/race on another. This suspense filled, historically based tale, answers many questions for us... and then invites many,many more. How in the world could they (the mexica population) possibly allow all these sacrifices to take place? How could any culture become so negative? How was it possible for a tiny 450 strong-invading force of ruthless Spanish Conquistadors defeat hundreds of thousands of Mexica warriors? Was it their superior technology or the fate of the Gods? Was it simply a case of good over evil? Was it my God's better than your God? Apparently the corrupted Mexica leaders & priests and then the common people themselves-distorted the original message from the Gods-"that we are all one"...which in turn robbed it of the very compassion with which the unity they sought with higher powers is informed by it's very nature. This story is not yet over...I cannot wait for the next book in the series- GRAHAM HANCOCK's, "WAR GOD:RETURN OF THE PLUMED SERPENT". If you have not read this book you do not fully know your history! I thank Amazon UK for making it available-why in the world is it not available with Amazon USA?
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