- File Size: 1427 KB
- Print Length: 245 pages
- Publication Date: March 16, 2013
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00BVJGBYI
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #237,816 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
|Print List Price:||$8.99|
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The Fall of the Empire (The Rise of the Aztecs Book 5) Kindle Edition
|Length: 245 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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I learned of Zoe Saadia in late 2012. I read the first book in the Rise of the Aztec Series, Highlander, in January of 2013. While I have read over 45 books during the first six-plus months of this year, I delightfully returned to Ms. Saadia's work every chance that I got. I was rewarded with four 5-Star books in The Rise of the Aztecs series, prior to reaching this one.
I am pleased to report that FALL OF THE EMPIRES lives up to the high expectations that I have of Ms. Saadia at this point. Each of the four books in the Rise of the Aztec Series built towards this book, one that continues the pre-Columbus saga of the Central America area. The author is dedicated to providing some rich and historically accurate historical fiction to fill a tremendous gap. While there is a good deal of historical fiction about the Mayans to the south, the rich and colorful history of the Aztecs and their surrounding allies and enemies, has largely been neglected prior to Ms. Saadia.
While one could read FALL OF THE EMPIRES alone and enjoy it, I recommend reading the entire Rise of the Aztec Series first. Regardless, I recommend this book to historical purists and historical fiction fans. It is rich in character development, with a mixture of real and imagined characters that are flawlessly weaved into accurate historical facts. Those who read The Rise of the Aztec Series first will find familiar characters, but also a host of new characters, all adding much to the story.
There is of course one character that is powerfully represented in every one the five books, including this one, and that of course is, Kuini, The Highlander. The first book was named after him. His part in each book following varies in regards to how many lines and pages, but not in the richness of his character or his importance to the emerging story. Ms. Saadia was wise to develop a strong and worthy character in the first book of the series, and has expertly crafted the series around him, with the primary story taking place wherever Kuini is or ends up.
You will also find his noble friend, Coyotl, in this story. He is more serious than ever, now focused entirely on reclaiming the power that he believes is rightfully his, power that was taken away years before, leaving him to find refuge initially in the Highlands, and then basically becoming a nomad roaming around gathering support to eventually reclaim the throne. The three books between the first in the series, Highlander, and this one, FALL OF THE EMPIRES, were all partly about Coyotl avoiding capture and his attempts to rally allies. Although his character does not play a large role in this particular book, he is one of the greatest assets and beneficiaries of the war in progress.
Tlacaelel becomes a much larger character in this book. He of course is the son of the former emperor. He is part of an interesting and powerful trio of friends, along with Kuini and Coyotl. Without ever becoming or aspiring to be emperor, he is known by historians as "the Architect of the Aztec Empire." He is the war leader that brings the Aztecs their conclusive victories, & indeed the Highlander is his only equal in battle, but it is his vision that sets him apart as a great man. Ms. Saadia did a great job illustrating the spirit and wisdom of this great man.
There are two new characters that stand out in this book. Etl is a merchant with good, but misguided intentions. Through him, we see a personal account of the other side of this great conflict, allowing the story to move naturally along, cluing us in on the motives and strategies of both sides of the war.
The other new character is even more important to the story. Tlalli is a small woman, cut from the same fabric of female strengths that have always appealed to the Highlander. If he did not already have two such wives competing for his affections, one suspects a romance might have blossomed between the two of them. She is brave, smart, quick-witted, pretty, tough and determined, with a strong sense of purpose that coincides with the interests of Kuini and Tlacaelel. Her actions provide great entertainment and suspense for the story, which is also enhanced by an unlikely romance between her and the nobel son and war leader, Tlacaelel.
The battles are captivating and the story moves to a natural, historically correct conclusion. There is great drama and unexpected twists. This is a well-conceived book that provides a fitting end to a remarkable series.
One of my favorite parts of this wonderful story is when the Highlander admonishes the practice of the raping, murdering and pillaging in the aftermath of victorious battles. He is one of the most fierce and capable warriors in this or any other part of the world, but he possesses the humanity to challenge this custom. Such scenes are why I have already read five Zoe Saadia books this year, and will no doubt read all her others too.
This is a 5 Star book that wraps up a 5 Star series. Well done, Ms. Saadia!
MADAM PRESIDENT (American Myth Series)
Set in the Tepanec Empire, or today’s Mexico, this is an action-packed adventure story of revenge, survival and love, featuring slaves, warriors, traders and emperors. It begins with the trader, Etl, overhearing a band of soldiers who plan to overthrow the emperor, and the pretty, smart and determined girl, Tlalli, who is plotting her revenge against the Emperor.
The turmoil is intriguing, and had me switching sides from chapter to chapter. The battles are captivating and the story, with its great drama and unexpected twists, moves forward to a historically-accurate conclusion.
The characters are so well-drawn that we feel we are there, with them, trying to stay alive in a situation they have no control over. And when, at the end, we have to bid goodbye to Etl, Tlacaelel, Tlalli and the others, it feels like saying goodbye to real people.
With its rich characters, blended from real and imagined people, its lovely prose woven through accurate historical fact, and a pace that never flags, I would highly recommend this book to fans of historical fiction.
And after The Fall of the Empire, I’m really looking forward to reading the entire Rise of the Aztec series!
B. James Wilson
Author of: The Sign of Jonah, Kingdom of Light, and, Triangle: A Memoir of Black Caesar - soon to be released.