Thursday, June 13, 2013

The Highlander (The Rise of The Aztecs Series, Book 1) by Zoe Saadia

Born in the Highlands, Kuini thought his life was simple. You hunt and you fight, defending your towns against the raids of the Lowlanders and then raiding their lands in turn. His father was the Warriors' Leader, and he wanted to be just like him.

Yet, Texcoco, the mighty Capital of the Lowlands, seemed incredibly beautiful, sparkling, its pyramids magnificent. A friendship with the Lowlander boy, the First Son of the Texcoco Emperor, seemed harmless in the beginning. They were just boys, and their clandestine meetings were always fun, providing great entertainment. 

However, on the day Kuini agrees to finally enter the magnificent city, it would all change. He expected to get into trouble, but he could not foresee the extent of the trouble and, worst of all, he did not expect to uncover hidden secrets concerning his own family.

The Highlander is a novel set in the ancient Aztec world. It is about two young men from opposing tribes, Kuini and Coyotl, who accidentally meet and become friends. Coming from different backgrounds and social statuses, the two learn and share with each other. When Kuini finds himself in Coyotl’s noble world, he finds danger at every corner, especially when Kuini meets his Coyotl’s sister who is forced into an unwanted marriage as part of a deal struck with a rival leader.

From pyramids, to temples, to palaces, this novel is rich in historical detail. Excellent, easy to read prose and an intriguing storyline kept me hooked to the very end. There were plenty of conflicts hampering the lives of all the well-drawn characters. It is a rich novel about Pre-Columbia South America that is sure to please.

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