- Author: Zoe Saadia
- Kindle Edition
- Category: Historical Fiction
Back in the Aztec Capital, the troubles were brewing. While benefiting from its neutrality in the Texcoco-Tepanec War, many influential Mexica-Aztecs grew wary of the way their city was becoming absorbed in the mighty Tepanec Empire.
Building on the first two books, this third instalment of the Rise of the Aztecs saga finds Kuini, Dehe and Coyotl in Tenochtitlan seeking out Kuini’s uncle, the old Aztec Warlord, in order to establish a union for their mutual benefit, against the Tepanecs. Political intrigue is widespread following the death of the Emperor, Huitzilihuitl and they find an ally of sorts in Tlacaelel, a relative of Coyotl’s and the illegitimate son of the late Emperor. There are aspiring contenders for the title of Emperor but the eventual victor is Chimalpapoca. He is just a child manipulated by his mother, the Empress, who now wields the ultimate power.
Kuini is also reunited Iztac Ayotl, Coyotl’s sister. She and Kuini were in love before she was sent to Tenochtitlan when she was fifteen as Huitzilihuitl Second Wife, to further her father’s political ambitions. She is now no better off after Huitzilihuitl’s death and is in danger of being used again, in the same way by the Empress. But now she has more of an awareness regarding the intrigue which surrounds her, and her strength of character and determination have increased.
Acolhua princess, thought Iztac bitterly. A Tepanec princess now, curse their eyes. But this was just too much. She would not play along nicely. Not this time. She was given away once and it was one time too many. If only that highlander boy had kept his promise. She clutched her fists tight, fighting the welling tears. No, she wouldn’t think of him. Whether he was dead or alive, it was of no consequence to her.
But of, course, it does matter to Iztac. Very much. And when Dehe becomes aware of Kuini’s feelings towards Iztac, a jealous rage takes hold of her. She takes matters into her own hands with deadly intent. Ultimately though, it’s the two women who take the lead in a delicate political situation, despite the lowly status of females in a male dominated society.
As always, Zoe Saadia presents a wonderfully imaginative and fascinating re-creation of the pre-Columbian Americas, packed with fully developed, matured and believable characters. It’s very well researched and imbued with history, customs and social behaviour. Peopled with protagonists who this author always makes easy to like and get invested in. I love that the bond of friendship between Kuini and Coyotl has survived and deepened.
The story comes alive with suspense, intrigue and vividly descriptive writing. As the absorbing plot evolves with so much going on, I didn’t want to stop reading. I’m loving this series and can’t wait to follow on with Currents of War.
About Zoe Saadia
Having researched various pre-contact cultures of this continent for more than a decade, she is convinced that it’s a shame that such a large part of history was completely overlooked, by historical fiction most of all.
Both Americas has an extremely rich, diverse, fascinating history long before this continent was discovered by other civilizations.
So her professional motto is set. America has not been discovered, not yet. Not in her novels