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An exploration of the Aztec civilization.
What is the Aztec series about?
From the peak and feather-banner splendor of the Aztec Capital of Tenochtitlan to the arrival of Hernán Cortás and his conquistadores, and their destruction of the Aztec empire, the Aztec series tells the fascinating history of Mexico.
This series has been described as a generally accurate portrayal of the events surrounding a number of actual historical figures and offers a careful criticism of Spanish authorities and Christianity.
The first three books in this series were written by American author Gary Jennings (September 20, 1928 – February 13, 1999). But, after his death, the other books in the Aztec series were penned by Robert Gleason & Junius Podrug.
How to read the Aztec Books in Order?
I. The Aztec Series Written by Gary Jennings
- Aztec – Told in the words of one of the most robust and memorable characters in modern fiction, Mixtli-Dark Cloud, Aztec reveals the very depths of Aztec civilization from the peak and feather-banner splendor of the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan to the arrival of Hernán Cortás and his conquistadores, and their destruction of the Aztec empire. The story of Mixtli is the story of the Aztecs themselves—a compelling, epic tale of heroic dignity and a colossal civilization’s rise and fall.
- Aztec Autumn – The magnificent Aztec empire has fallen beneath the brutal healing of the Spaniards. But one proud Aztec, Tenamaxtli, refuses to bow to his despised conquerors. He dreams of restoring the lost glory of the Aztec empire and recruits an army of rebels to mount an insurrection against the seemingly invincible power of mighty Spain. Tenamaxtli’s courageous quest takes us through high adventure, passionate women, unlikely allies, bright hope, bitter tragedy, and the essence of 16th century Mexico. This incredible rebellion has been little remembered, perhaps because it shed no glory on the men who would write the history book, but its outcome depended on the future of all of North America.
- Aztec Blood – The Aztec people have been conquered and a bloody revolt of the Indians was put down. The former Aztec Empire is now a colony called New Spain in which the Indians are enslaved to great estates that are actually feudal domains. The Spanish lords rule as kings, treating Indian men as work animals and Indian women as their personal property. In this colorful and exciting era of swords and cloaks, upheaval and revolution, a young beggar boy, in whose blood runs that of both Spanish and Aztec royalty, must claim his birthright. From the torrid streets of the City of the Dead along the Veracruz Coast to the ageless glory of Seville in Old Spain, Cristo the Bastard connives, fights, and loves as he seeks the truth without knowing that he will be the founder of a proud new people. As we follow the loves and adventures of Cristo and experience the colorful splendor and barbarism of the era, a vanished culture is brought to life in all its magnificence.
II. The Aztec Series Written Robert Gleason & Junius Podrug
- Aztec Rage – Don Juan de Zavala was the most skilled fighter in all of New Spain—as gifted with weapons and horses as he was with women. These pleasures were all he desired. But the magnificent Aztec empire, its grand cities, and riches lay broken under the Spanish boot… Now valiant men and fearless women rise and battle their brutal overlords. As a warrior-priest leads an Aztec revolt, across the ocean in Spain courageous people battle Napoleon’s invading armies. No one, including Juan de Zavala could stay neutral. Especially if a shocking secret from Zavala’s lurid past is exposed—a secret so lethal to the Spanish Crown it threatens their very existence. Zavala will be swept from glittering Mexico City to snake-and-croc infested jungles, to lost Mayan civilizations to the torture chambers of the Inquisition, to beautiful Barcelona and the bloody carnage of Napoleon’s war in Spain, to the bloodiest and most spectacular of New Spain’s (colonial Mexico) revolutions.
- Aztec Fire – Juan Rios comes from a long line of Aztec warriors. Slave to a Spanish gun-maker, he becomes the finest gunsmith and sharpshooter in colonial Mexico. But Juan has a secret life as the revolucion’s #1 gun-runner. Juan falls for the beautiful Maria, a beautiful writer and fearless revolucionaria whose dream of freedom is a liability for them both. The hard-drinking, womanizing, con-man Luis becomes their last hope against the rack, the stake, and the blood-stained torture dungeons of the Inquisition. Aztec Fire sweeps readers on a perilous journey from the fabled ruins of ancient Tula to the slave-labor galleons of “the Manila Run” to a South Seas jungle island teeming with crocodiles, snakes, and blood-crazed cannibals. When Juan and his friends finally reach home, they find their country in flames, struggling against its hated Spanish oppressors.
- Aztec Revenge – Juan is a “mestizo,” of mixed Spanish and Indio heritage, sure to be doomed to a short, violent life begging on the streets. But Juan has a special gift for handling horses and an ability to defend himself at a time when a man’s best friends are his horse and his sword. Only El Mestizo, the half-caste son of the conqueror Cortés, knows that the blood of kings flows in the young beggar. After killing a man for beating a horse, Juan becomes a highwayman and horse thief before disguising himself as a wealthy caballero. He is wined and dined by the richest and most powerful people in the colony—who don’t realize that some of them had once stared down the barrel of Juan’s pistola as he took their gold. Fighting, conniving, and loving in a colorful era of flashing swords and brave hearts, Juan must use all the tricks he learned as a beggar and a bandit to unlock the secret of his own heritage.