(I received this book for free as part of Goodreads First Reads giveaways).
(This review may contain spoilers).
I did find the blurb of this book quite intriguing. A lot of my knowledge about the Aztecs and their conquering by the Spanish comes from reading Horrible Histories books, so I was intrigued to see a novel detailing the Spanish invasion.
I have to say, however, I did find this book a bit disjointed at times. The beginning of this book was a bit confusing, since I was left unsure about whether this book was meant to be a memoir written by the character talking to Cortez, or if it was something entirely different. And the sudden skip forward in time was extremely confusing, too.
As the book went on, I found it quite interesting to have bits and pieces of the knowledge I had about the Aztec community awakened. There were times that this book felt more like a reporting of the facts, though, rather than a glimpse into the possible workings of the mind of a historical figure.
There were some quite gruesome moments in this book and atrocities carried out on both sides in the war. I don’t know if it was the author’s intention, but the harsh realities of the war (and the way the Aztecs were ultimately defeated) was shown quite vividly.
I found it easier to get into the book later on, as the narrative settled down. It was confusing to be suddenly thrown into the future, for what seemed to be no proper reason, as the time mentioned wasn’t then covered.
I’m not sure there was anyone ‘likable’ in this book. It was good to see glimpses of other historical figures as well as Cortez and also to have some insight into the culture of the different peoples. The viciousness came through really well… but I really struggled to find any way to relate to the characters and there were several moments I got confused about the different people.
I don’t think I’d read a sequel to this book, unless perhaps it’s somewhat less disjointed and easier to follow. There was a lot of nice imagery used… I just kind of struggled with it at times.