- Author: Zoe Saadia
- Kindle Edition
- Category: Historical Fiction
Seven years later, the Aztecs are ready to revolt against the mighty Tepanec Empire.
However, while the young Emperor is trying to solve the problems peacefully, his warlords and advisers believe he is making too many mistakes along the way. A much stronger leader is needed, but is there a way to change Emperors with no bloodshed?
Things have changed considerably in the seven years since the events in The Emperor’s Second Wife. There’s a definite feeling of uncertainty and disorder in Tenochtitlan, the sense of an impending threat. The political tension is escalating between the Tepanecs and Aztecs, with unrest in Texcoco, all adding to the volatile mix.
Coyotl has arrived in Texcoco, disheartened at the city’s downturn but determined to reclaim his birthright, knowing it won’t be a quick or easy task.
Once a great altepetl, clean and groomed to perfection, after eight summers of foreign occupation, Texcoco had been turned into just another province, a large city of no importance. The Great Pyramid was still there, and the broad avenue with the multitude of temples, and the Palace with gardens and artificial groves, yet they looked pitifully neglected now, unheeded, their walls cracking, their plaster peeling off. Just another provincial city belonging to the Tepanecs, but paying its tribute to the Aztecs.
Iztac Ayotl, no longer a young, impressionable girl, is observant and perceptive, able to wield some power as the first wife to the young Emperor, Chimalpopoca. She is torn between her feelings for Kuini, her first love, and Chimal, who she has been close to since he was a boy. Nevertheless, she and Kuini would always share a bond, no matter what the circumstances.
Kuini and Dehe are settled together with a family, even though Dehe is aware she was never Kuini’s first choice. Regardless, she would do anything for him and is steadfast in her commitment. Kuini does love her in his own way, but at the same his feelings for Iztac are still strong. Kuini is still as loyal, independent and headstrong as ever, getting into dangerous situations, yet being a family man shows another, softer side to his character.
Familiar characters, multi dimensional and developed, merge with new, as they are embroiled in the never-ending struggle for power. I particularly enjoyed the addition of the old warlord’s third wife, Cuicalt. She and Iztac have a lot in common. Tlacaelel, who was introduced in the previous book, is now acting Chief Warlord in Tenochtitlan. He and Kuini have a mutual respect and liking for each other despite their differing personalities. Tlacaelel is ruled by his head whereas Kuini goes with his emotions, even if his impulsiveness lands him in trouble more often than not.
I love the relationship that develops between Iztac and Dehe, after a distressing part of the storyline. Zoe Saadia brings her characters to life with seeming effortlessness, and as always, the historical content is incredible, combining perfectly with the story. This is a fabulous series and highly recommended if historical fact/fiction is your thing. Fall of the Empire next!
My review is voluntary and is based on a copy of the book supplied by the author/publisher.
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