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Aztec Autumn (4 Cassettes)
     

Aztec Autumn (4 Cassettes)

by Gary Jennings
 
The magnificent Aztec empire has fallen under the brutal heel of the invading Spanish Conquistadors. But one proud young Aztec, Tenemaxtli, refuses to bow to the foreigners. He dreams of leading a rebellion that will restore the Aztec empire to its glory days.

Overview

The magnificent Aztec empire has fallen under the brutal heel of the invading Spanish Conquistadors. But one proud young Aztec, Tenemaxtli, refuses to bow to the foreigners. He dreams of leading a rebellion that will restore the Aztec empire to its glory days.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This long-awaited sequel to Jennings's bestselling "Aztec" is another assiduously researched, richly detailed and robust re-creation of a little-known era of ancient history on our continent. Here, Jennings chronicles the life of Tenamxtli, an Aztec noble who grew up when North America was being colonialized by the Conquistadors of Spain. Tenamxtli's home of Aztlan was left untouched by the Spaniards, but, having heard of the "white men," Tenamxtli travels with his uncle (then ruler of Aztlan) and mother to the city of Mexico to see their nemeses and the threat they posed. Upon arrival, the three are herded among a group of other "indios" to witness the burning of a heretic at the stake. Soon thereafter, Tenamxtli discovers that the condemned man was his father, whom he had never known. Thus begins his quest to find a weakness in the Spanish army, form an army of his own people and eventually defeat the invaders and avenge his father's death. With his vigorous prose and clearly visualized details, Jennings brings readers back in time to that world. Descriptions of landscape and culture, gruesome battle scenes and executions, have convincing immediacy. Showing us the transformation of North America through the eyes of native people, he never portrays them as stereotypically primitive. The only jarring digressions in the book are the strange and numerous sexcapades of Tenamxtli, including his tenure in two different villages where he's the only capably virile male available for months on endand where he takes it as his duty to service and "teach" every woman in town. Overall, however, this is riveting historical fiction written with wonderful force.
San Francisco Chronicle
If you can't make it to the latest summer blockbuster film, "Aztec Autumn" is the book equivalent.
Kirkus Reviews
Uneven, comparatively brief sequel to Jennings's epic historical tale "Aztec" (1980).

Having watched the gruesome auto-da-fé of Dark Cloud, the doomed, conflicted hero of "Aztec", Tenamáxtli, Dark Cloud's son, vows revenge on the Spaniards who have conquered and destroyed the Aztec empire. He befriends a Spanish notary who understands the Aztec language and begins to learn Spanish in a mission in the former imperial capital of Tenochtitlan (the "The Heart of the One World," contemporary Mexico City). Jennings uses Tenamáxtli's Candide-like innocence to poke fun at the bearded, brutal Europeans with their booming arquebuses, their appetite for cruelty and gold, and their odd religion, which compels them to "eat their god" during communion. Daunted by the contradictions of Christianity, Tenamáxtli puzzles out the recipe for gunpowder, procures a copy of a Spanish arquebus, and makes a decisive terrorist strike against a Spanish garrison before returning to his native Aztlan. Along the way, he finds a utopian settlement ruled by a kindly Spanish priest, tarries lustfully in a village of women whose men have been slaughtered, befriends a fierce, bald-headed female warrior named Tiptoe, tangles with a seemingly immortal sorceress named G'nda Ke', and mounts the throne of his ancestral homestead as the ultimate ruler. Jennings's relentlessly talky narrative doesn't achieve the momentum of his earlier masterpiece, and, despite numerous references to divine coincidences, his twisted plot depends on too many trite devices. Characters thought to be lost, dead, incompetent, or merely far away are forever popping up to either save the day or ruin it for Tenamáxtli, whose rigid concept of honor compels him to lead a rebellion that even he realizes he can't win.

A bumpy, meandering, wryly tragic tale, graced with delightful moments of passion and insight into the ancient culture that still haunts (and influences) modern Mexico.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780787114596
Publisher:
NewStar Media, Incorporated
Publication date:
07/28/1997
Series:
Aztec Series
Edition description:
Abridged, 4 Cassettes
Product dimensions:
4.28(w) x 7.07(h) x 1.25(d)

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