Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Serpent and the Eagle (Tenochtitlan Trilogy)” as Want to Read:
The Serpent and the Eagle (Tenochtitlan Trilogy)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Serpent and the Eagle (Tenochtitlan Trilogy)

4.55  ·  Rating details ·  60 ratings  ·  44 reviews
Something has come from beyond the Great Mists...

Tenochtitlan, 1519. Strange, pale-skinned people have arrived on the coast of the One World. They hail from a far away land called Spain and fight for the mysterious Hernando Cortés. To confront Cortés’ forces would be dangerous, but inaction may be even more dangerous.

The Mexica are the most powerful people in all the One W
Kindle Edition
Published March 10th 2019 by Black Acorn Literary Press
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Serpent and the Eagle, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Serpent and the Eagle

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.55  · 
Rating details
 ·  60 ratings  ·  44 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Serpent and the Eagle (Tenochtitlan Trilogy)
I received a copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.

It’s 1519, and news have arrived in Tenochtitlan that certain pale-faced people have landed on the One World, carrying strange and thunderous weapons never seen before and heading for the seat of Mexica power, intentions unknown. In the city, the Great Speaker of the Triple Alliance, Motecuhzoma, has called a meeting with his generals, which we’re made privy to through the eyes of one of them. Balancing the opposite views of thos
Zoe Saadia
May 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I picked "The Serpent and the Eagle" out of curiosity for the time period I generally try to avoid. The conquest of the Americas is certainly not my favorite topic, but the title of this novel as well as the lovely cover and the short bio of the author promised a good, well-researched and hopefully deep and reflective story on the complicated topic several authors I read did not manage to tuck, certainly not from the Native American point of view.

Well, disillusioned I was not - far from it! In f
Apr 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a wonderful premiere novel from Mr. Rickford, a young novelist I had the pleasure of hearing speak at Morgan State University's 2019 History Day. I wish all the best as he pen more historical fiction novels.
Randall Moore
“The Serpent and the Eagle” by Edward Rickford is the first of a trilogy about the Conquest of Mexico by Spanish forces under the command of Hernan Cortez. While the story will be familiar to those who’ve learned about this era, Rickford’s vision utilizes more recent scholarship, while downplaying, but not completely eschewing more traditional sources.

There’s a bit of a learning curve in reading the novel because Rickford employs less commonly known spellings of historical character names and pl
Mary Elizabeth Hughes
Mar 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The Serpent and the Eagle is an ambitious retelling of the Spanish invasion of Mesoamerica. This is Part One of a planned trilogy and covers the period of Cortes' arrival on the Yucatan coast in 1519 to the start of their march on the Mesoamerican capital, Tenochlitan.

Both Motecuhzoma, Great Speaker of the Mexica and Captain Cortes are depicted as proud, arrogant, intelligent, occasionally compassionate, resourceful, cruel but strong leaders. Author Rickford tries for a balanced approach and tr
Laura Koerber
Apr 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Readers of historical fiction will appreciate this well-written account of the clash between the invading Spaniards and the native Mexica. The basic outlines are familiar: Cortez led a relatively small group of soldiers into the interior of what we now call Mexico and defeated the people popularly called “the Aztecs.”
It’s a story of the collision of unlikeable people from cultures that shared some very unlikeable traits. (Everyone knows about the Aztec human sacrifice, but the Spainiards were
K.M. Pohlkamp
Mar 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The Serpent and the Eagle is an emotional journey through the eyes of a Mexica King, conquistadors, a slave girl, and so many more caught in the Spanish hunger for gold. Dramatizing the landing of Cortez in the New World, the novel follows his social maneuvering with natives to obtain riches. Each chapter changes the narrator's POV allowing the reader to also experience the anxiety the “pale ones” bring to native Mexica. As a result, the tension in this book is created from mental turmoil rather ...more
Roberta Cheadle
Apr 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book is my first reading encounter with the history of the arrival of the Spanish explorers/conquerors in Mexica and their encounters with the Aztec (called Mexica) people. I do not know the history of South America well, but this book came across as being exceptionally well researched and is based on real events and people, including the leader of the expedition, Cortes, the missionary and interpreter, Aguilar and the young native Mexica slave, Malintze, who becomes and interpreter for Cor ...more
Sam Law
Read More reviews on my blog It's Good To Read


This is a historical fiction novel, about the Spanish military campaign that destroyed the world of the Aztecs

The novel, first in a trilogy, features the historic personalities, as well as numerous fictional ones. Hernan Cortes is there, on his ship Santa Maria de la Conception, as well as Montezuma in his glittering palace. We meet lesser figures such as Father Aguilar, rescued from Indian slavery by Cortes and now serves him as translat
Ola G
7/10 stars

My full review can be found on my blog here.

*I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review*

The Serpent and the Eagle is Edward Rickford’s debut, a first book in a planned trilogy about the Spanish conquest of the Mexica (Aztec) empire. The topic of Hernán Cortés’ bloody and ambitious subjugation of the biggest New World empire of the time is a very interesting one, and I was eager to read the fictionalized account of his endeavors, especially balanced,
Happy Booker
Mar 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The Serpent and the Eagle is book one of Tenochtitlan Trilogy. This historical fiction is set in 1519 where Motecuhzoma leads the Mexica Confederacy. Mesoamerica has been happy for years and the nation prosperous, however, just like every other story, peace is not to stay as Hernando appears and has other plans for the land.

The story is told through many perspectives covering many aspects of his historical Spanish tale. This enabled the storytelling to be multi-dimensional and created the necess
G.J. Griffiths
This historical fiction by Edward Rickford had many of the things that I tend to look for in a novel that includes real characters and events from the past. In addition it was interesting to discover much about the history of a war between Spain and Mexica, 1519 to 1521. I learned for example that Mexica refers to the people we generally call the Aztecs, and that several characters in the story who accompanied Cortes, such as Aguilar and Malintze, really existed. The author has to be applauded f ...more
Literary Portals
Aug 14, 2019 rated it liked it
What Made Me Read It I was sent a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. The author described it as a novel based on a research thesis that "follows an extraordinary military campaign that toppled a seemingly invincible hegemony, established the first European foothold in the Americas, and helped usher in the era of world trade". Since I wasn't familiar with this particular event and period in history I decided to give it a try.

The Plot Hernando Cortés sailed to the New World under t
Swords & Spectres
Mar 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

In the Serpent and the Eagle, Edward Rickford has achieved wonderful world-building/scene-setting to the extent that even if you aren’t familiar with the history surrounding the novel, you can pick this book up and enjoy it regardless. The entire events of Cortez’ expedition do not unfold in this book, but that is due to the fact that it is only the first in a trilogy. So there will be far more Aztec goodness coming our way in the f
Pallavi Sareen
Aug 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What an absolutely fantastic well-researched piece of historical fiction this was. I'll be honest that I do not know much of America's history especially what happened in 1519 but after reading this book, I feel knowledgeable. From what I could gather after reading this book and then doing my own research on the topic is that the book stands close to reality and has only introduced fictional characters to keep it interesting and strengthen the plot for readers. 

There are so many characters in th
James White
Mar 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Author Edward Rickford sets in motion a thrilling adventure story when the indomitable Spanish conquistador, Hernán Cortés, makes landfall in the New World and begins his quest to locate and plunder the Aztec empire.

The story unfolds aboard Cortés' ship, The Santa Maria de la Concepción where we meet the expedition's translator, Father Aguilar, in conversation with Cortés. Their dialogue spins a complicated web of intrigue between Cortés and Father Aguilar that sets the tone for the rest of the
Marion Marchetto

The Serpent and the Eagle takes the reader back to the time of Montezuma (Motecuhzoma) when he led the Mexica Confederacy. The year is 1519 and there is no reason not to believe that the Mexica Confederacy will continue to rule of the nation. The arrival of Spaniards, in search of gold and glory, arrive on a mission they believe is ordained by their God. This is the story of the battles between the Spaniards and the Mexica Confederacy, as told from the viewpoints of both the native inhabitants a
Maria Logan-Montgomery
Sep 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The Serpent and the Eagle by award-winning author, Edward Rickford, is the first book in the Tenochtitlan Trilogy. It is also 1stplace winner in the 2018 Chaucer Book Awards for pre-1750s historical fiction.

It is 1519, and Cortez has landed in Mexico. This book is especially enlightening, as the story is told from the points of view of both the Aztecs and the Spanish conquistadors. It reminds the reader of the Europeans’ greed and unquenchable thirst for gold, and the lengths to which they went
May 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
A fun read for fans of historical fiction. Edward Rickford’s novel recounts Cortez’s bloody conquest of Mexico through the eyes of the officers and soldiers of his army, as well as through those of the Aztec emperor and the woman Malintze, who rises from the obscurity of slavery to become Cortez’s translator and confidant.

Rickford keeps the action moving around throughout the novel. Between the battles there are forced marches, scheming, and duplicity. Rickford has mastered the details of Pre-Co
Chris Matthews
May 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A thoroughly enjoyable novel. As someone who was quite unfamiliar with the history of the Spanish-Mexica War of 1519-1521, this narrative introduced me to several important figures from both sides of the conflict. As a work of historical fiction, it is clearly very well researched, and the author's deep engagement with the subject matter enriches the reading experience. The author's notes at the end of the book show that he is familiar with both contemporary scholarship and primary sources from ...more
Sep 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The first book in the Tenochtitlan Trilogy, The Serpent and the Eagle by Edward Rickford has set the bar quite high for other historical fiction books. The book is based on the Spanish-Mexica war. This first book of this trilogy focuses on the greed, ambition, and circumstances that occurred leading to the war. Although Governor Velazquez appointed Hernandes Cortés to lead a trade expedition to Mexica, Captain Cortés had bigger plans for himself.

He had built an army for this purpose. The army wa
Apr 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I've read this book while Edward was working on it and I greatly enjoyed it. I'm a sucker for historical fiction anyway, and I particularly like a book that shows the writer has done a lot of research. His descriptions of the world of the Spaniards and the Mexica are very well done, as is his characterisation of his main characters. I got a bit confused with the complicated names of the Mexica I'm afraid and my favourite parts were about the Spanish. I very much liked the character of Malinche, ...more
Mar 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Edward Rickford has done an excellent job bringing to life a story that I, for one, knew very little about. Told through a diverse cast of characters, The Serpent and the Eagle is about two very different civilizations that battle for gold and power, in a time when human sacrifices abound in an "undiscovered" Mesoamerican jungle, and the Spanish Empire is seeking to control new lands.

Expertly researched and told in vivid detail, this work of historical fiction weaves together unique narratives
Gina R Mitchell
Mar 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020-reviews
The Serpent and the Eagle is an incredibly in-depth historical fiction novel. The author has obviously invested years of research into this project.

The story covers the time leading up to the battle between Montezuma and the Spanish conquistadors. Each chapter switches between several different point of views. The many characters are well-written with amazing depth. The book is fairly fast-paced with only a few places where it seemed to get bogged down in the author’s desire to be historically
Daryl Locke
Apr 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The serpent and the eagle is novel of excellence, adventure, challenge, and manipulation. A story that takes the reader back to the European exploration era when opposite worlds meet (Spaniards and Aztec). Recounting Cortez and his army subjugation of Mexico and the lives of the people affected by his voyage. Seen from many different point of views such as the great and manipulative Malintze, the wicked and cold Cortez, Cortez’s soldiers, etc. Rickford goes in exceptional depth taking the reader ...more
Jul 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is not my usual region for historical fiction, but when I heard about it, it really sounded I interesting.
I found the characters to be fascinating, really well-developed, and easy to keep track of.
It was obvious that the author did extensive research, which is an absolute must for me. It was very well-written.
The descriptions of the terrain, natives, etc were compelling, and kept me interested throughout the book.
I find myself eager anticipating the rest of the trilogy. I have a much cleare
Olly Pwengl
Apr 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is an impressive debut that brings to life events in 16th century Mexico. Most of us have some vague idea about Cortes' conquest of the Aztec empire but Edward Rickford brings it to life with vivid descriptions and brilliant action scenes. The story is told from a number of different viewpoints so that we see events unfold through a lens distorted by the ignorance and prejudices that afflicted both sides of the conflict. The author's detailed knowledge of his subject is plain to see. This i ...more
Apr 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is fabulous! I love historical fiction, and this novel didn’t disappoint. I knew little of the Spanish invasion of Mexico - and this novel managed to intertwine historical fact with riveting prose and intriguing characters.
I enjoy multi POV novels as a way of understanding how conflict affects different sides. This is where Edward Rickford excels. We read the views of Mexican kings, Spanish captains, and captured slaves - weaving war, romance, fear, and conflict into the story. Highly
May 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A historical fiction intrigue! Engaging from the beginning, The Serpent and the Eagle paints the picture of two opposing sides as they struggle to impose or maintain their ways in the New World. With compelling detail about the state of current affairs at the time, Edward Rickford plunges us into a world of abundant natural beauty and terrible human corruption. The characters are vivid, rich with their own motivations and moral compass, which provides exciting reading and tension as they strive ...more
Arthur Cooper
Aug 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book was my first real dive into historical fiction, and I was surprised how quickly I was taken in to the story. Being only somewhat familiar with the events surrounding Cortez's conquest, Rickford's novel provided an intriguing insider look at the stories of Cortez and those around him. A great combination of history and drama, The Serpent and the Eagle makes you care about the characters and see a terrific series of events from the many perspectives of those who participated. I'll defini ...more
« previous 1 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Coyote Summer
  • Lights on the Sea
  • Born in the Purple
  • The Mule Spinners' Daughters
  • Fortune's Child: A Novel of Empress Theodora
  • You Were Not Born to Suffer: Overcome Fear, Insecurity and Depression and Love Yourself Back to Happiness, Confidence and Peace
  • Knee Deep
  • The Bloodletter's Daughter: A Novel of Old Bohemia
  • The Last Saturday Of October: The Declassified Secrets of Black Saturday
  • The Second Sleep
  • Roman (The Thrice Named Man, #6)
  • Fierce Girls (Fierce Girls at War #1)
  • Screamcatcher: Web World
  • Action Park: Fast Times, Wild Rides, and the Untold Story of America's Most Dangerous Amusement Park
  • Aztec (Aztec, #1)
  • A Beginner's Guide to Free Fall
  • Mistakes by the Lake
See similar books…
Ever since Edward was young, he has enjoyed writing. College gave him the chance to combine his interest in history with his passion for storytelling and he mainly writes historical fiction now. To research The Serpent and the Eagle, he read centuries-old texts and traveled to Mexico repeatedly, even retracing Cortés’ route through central Mexico. For his writing, Edward has won the Grand Prize Aw ...more

Related Articles

Let’s face it, 2020 is making us long for other timelines. Luckily, these 32 novels are ready to sweep you away to vastly different eras and...
169 likes · 143 comments