E. Newby's Reviews > Aztec

Aztec by Gary Jennings
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's review
Jul 27, 12

liked it

I love historical novels, particularly those that focus on cultures other than my own. This book definitely does that, focusing on the title culture at the height of their civilization, right before the Spaniards came. Unfortunately, like many authors of historical fiction, our man skews his lens toward the darker aspects of the Aztec civilization. Human sacrifice was definitely a part of their culture, and the author spared not a single paragraph in describing it intricately. He did so, I think, at the expense of the beauty that must surely have been abundant in their lives.

As for the myopic Mixtle-Dark Cloud (the narrative character), he's a priviledged scribe who is irredeemably dark. He appears to appraise the whole of his society with relative indifference--until his daughter is sacrificed, at which point he orders the slaughter of every man, woman and child who was a part of that fateful festival. After that, it became difficult to empathize with him at all. It became difficult to care what happened to him. So when the story reached its own ultimate brutal end, I was left thinking "Okay, whatever."

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message 1: by Tim (new) - rated it 4 stars

Tim Wint Yeah, I felt the same way. Oh, ho-hum another holiday another couple of thousand sacrifices. Then, "what? You've killed my daughter?" Never mind that I was too stupid and left her behind and never thought twice about telling the priests to do whatever they needed to do to appease the gods. Well,duh!

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