War God: Nights of the Witch (Anglais) Broché – 29 juillet 2013
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Description du produit
Revue de presse
...part historical fact, part fantasy, the effect is as intense as the events themselves. It's a fascinating read that will have you booking a flight to Mexico long before you finish the book. (Evening Standard)
Interweaving historical fact and vivid fiction, Graham Hancock's War God is packed full of blood, guts, conflict, sacrifice and witchcraft in the last days of the Aztec empire. The story of the Spanish conquest of Mexico and the downfall of Moctezuma is the perfect (if very gory) distraction from modern life. (Wanderlust)
Five hundred years ago the old Mexican prophecy which announced the return of Quetzalcoatl came true. In an era dominated by human sacrifices and the decadence of a great culture, bearded men, white-faced, from beyond the sea, arrived to impose their law. In this fast-moving highly reccomended novel, Graham Hancock masterfully reconstructs the biggest clash of civilizations ever, revealing aspects that only a genius author could unveil. (Javier Sierra New York Times bestselling author of The Secret Supper and The Lost Angel)
The book offers up a heady mix of action, politics, spirituality and the supernatural and we learn a lot...Convincing fantasy elements and viscerally recreated details keep the narrative charging forward. (Daily Mail)
It will have you hyperventilating within minutes... Meets all the "thriller" criteria with gusto. (Newcastle Journal.)
Graham Hancock has, once again, produced a book that entertains as well as educates...War God is a rich and deeply involving novel that grips you from the very first page. If you can handle the gruesome detail, then you will devour every page and the end will come too soon, leaving you desperate for book two... (Sir Read-A-Lot Blog)
Reviews for Fingerprint of the Gods (Various)
Intriguing ( Sunday Times)
...his sweep through the ancient world is arresting and audacious. (Daily Mail)
...one of the intellectual landmarks of this decade. (Literary Review) --Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Relié .
Présentation de l'éditeur
A young girl called Tozi stands at the bottom of a pyramid, waiting to be led to the top where her heart will be cut out...
Pepillo, a Spanish orphan who serves a sadistic Dominican friar, is aboard the Spanish fleet as it sails towards Mexico...
This is the epic story of the clash of two empires, two armies and two gods of war. Five hundred desperate adventurers are about to pit themselves against the most brutal armies of the ancient Americas, armies hundreds of thousands strong.
This is a war of gods and men. Dark powers that work behind the scenes of history show their hand as the prophecy of the return of Quetzalcoatl is fulfilled with the arrival of Cortes. The Aztec ruler Moctezuma fights to maintain the demands of the war god Huitzilopochtli for human sacrifice. The Spanish Inquisition is planning an even greater blood-letting.
Caught up in the headlong collision between two gods of war are Tozi, Pepillo and the beautiful sex slave Malinal whose hatred of Moctezuma runs so deep she will sell out her own land and people to destroy him.--Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Relié .
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com
The story gets off to a bad start when, in the first few pages, a young witch named Tozi practices the art of magic. This magic is not an authentic form of shamanism or healing arts that might have actually been ritualistically practiced by the Native Americans, but rather real honest-to-gods wizardry like something out of The Lord of the Rings. Right away we are removed from the genre of the historical novel and transported into the realm of fantasy. Later, when the characters pray to their gods, it’s not just an internal dialogue inside the characters’ minds. The gods are real, and they directly influence the course of history. It’s not just the Mexicans who are communing with the spirit world; even the Spaniards receive visitations from St. Peter himself. Aren’t the ancient civilizations of America and their first clash with invaders from the Old World fascinating enough? Is it really necessary to dress up the story with a bunch of mystical mumbo jumbo?
Hancock’s descriptions of battle scenes are exciting and vividly rendered. He is clearly a competent writer capable of telling a story, but the creative choices he makes are rather annoying. The short choppy chapters, each ending in a cliffhanger, brought to mind the Choose Your Own Adventure books of my youth, and the level of character development is about the same. Also irritating is Hancock’s infantile fascination with bodily fluids. Obviously there will be blood in a book like this, but every time you turn a page it seems like someone’s vomiting or soiling themselves. Did Moctezuma really have irritable bowel syndrome, or did Hancock just make that up so he could work a mention of feces into every other chapter?
Probably the most bothersome aspect of the book is Hancock’s myopic depiction of the Mexica (commonly known as the Aztecs). All he shows us of their culture is torture, human sacrifice, and cannibalism. There was much more to their civilization than just murder, but Hancock doesn’t mention their philosophy, arts, sciences, mathematics, or literature. It almost seems as if the message he’s trying to get across here is that the Native Americans deserved to be conquered because they were merely brutal savages. By focusing solely on the murderous aspects of Mesoamerican culture, the conquistadors come across as liberators rather than conquerors. Though the Spaniards are depicted as violent and avaricious criminals, the reader can’t help but feel that they are intended to be the “good guys” in this story, come to save the Mexica from themselves.
Had the book been briefer, these offenses might not have been so irksome, but this novel is a long haul. The conquistadors don’t leave Cuba until halfway through the book, they don’t reach the Mexican mainland until about the three-quarters mark, and they never make it to Tenochtitlan. Surprise! It’s a trilogy! (At the time I bought the book, it was not advertised as such). I won’t be returning for book two.
I especially liked the weaving of the known history with the Supernatural in a way that is totally in keeping with the cultures in question. It took me awhile to realize what was going on with "The" War God - and I won't say anymore and be a spoiler but lets just say once I did figure it out I think I understood things a lot better.
The only reason I didn't give this book five stars is that I was a little overwhelmed by extremely detailed battle scenes which I'm sure my husband would love (we've both done a lot of historical re-enactment and he does fighting) but eventually just made me feel a bit lost and like I wanted my story back. I think this is a personal preference in reading styles, so those who like military fiction are likely to really enjoy these pages, but I just can't handle them after while (and I feel the same way about the long battle scenes that are sometimes in my husband's own novels).
I also felt just a tiny bit unconnected having so many point of view personages to follow, again I realize this is a popular modern style of writing and useful when you have multiple stories to tie together. But I couldn't help remember how gripped I felt reading the novel AZTEC years ago, which is done as an "autobiography" of the view point personage; and while I thought Mr. Jennings went way over the top in his descriptions of some of the darker stuff, I did feel very connected to his point of view Character; whereas in War God I felt most connected to Tozi the young "witch" girl and Pepito (a young boy of similar age). After while having so many others to try and sort out because a bit hard to deal with, and I realized I was starting to confuse them - that said, I like novels with lots of characters so on balance I would rather have this problem that the usual tendency of modern historical novels to only have five or six people in them.
Still, all in all, I could not stop reading until far into the night for several evenings when I should have been sleeping, always the sign of a good book.
And three cheers for Mr. Hancock for refusing to hide the Aztec's blood lust for sacrifices behind some PC modern revisionist screen. That's because serious historical know that the Aztec's had gotten so out-of-control in this department, that their neighbors totally hated their guts and many were happy to side with Cortez, even saw him as a deliverer from the evil Aztec Empire, especially at first.
Yes, other tribes had similar practices but not nearly to the same degree; the Aztecs were a society that had gone totally out of control on this issue, needing ever expanding wars to bring back prisoners to execute. That in no way takes away from the many amazing things they accomplished as a people; their temples, public buildings, social structure, agriculture, writing (of which precious little is left), military skills etc - but to ignore it also skews history (and I have a degree in history and anthropology).
I am not sure however, that I would have portrayed Moctecazuma in exactly the way that Mr. Hancock has chosen to do so, but his presentation is highly believable and fits with the story (as well as some of the limited historical records).
All together, I recommend this book to anyone; a great combination of history and supernatural fantasy without a vampire or ware-wolf to be seen!
I am waiting happily for the next installment!