Next book

AZTEC BLOOD

Windy but charming plotboiler overflowing with interesting details about Spanish colonialism, heady Indian mysticism, and...

Overlong and gratuitously sexy and grotesque—but also highly entertaining—finish to Jennings’s trilogy of valiant Aztec Indian heroes who use their wits, cultural heritage, and sexual wiles to turn the tables on the conquering Spaniards.

A century after Aztec Autumn (1997), Cristobal the Bastard, a mestizo (Aztec Indian mother, unknown Spanish father) is resting between bouts of hideous (and graphically described) torture by the infamously perverse clerics of the Spanish Inquisitors, who provide him with pen, ink, and paper to write his confession. Unbeknownst to the clerics, Cristobal is also keeping a secret autobiography with disappearing ink (made of milk passed to him by a lactating woman in the cell next door). This tale, then, written in milk-ink, begins with Cristobal’s uncertain birth to a beautiful Indian woman enslaved as a mistress to a disgusting Spanish landowner, his rejection by both the Spaniards and the Indians for being of mixed blood, his life as a thief and beggar, his twin apprenticeships, first to the kindly, defrocked priest Antonio, who teaches him to read and write, then to an enigmatic Aztec healer, part charlatan, part mystic, who leads him on a visionary return to his Indian roots. The evil Spanish grandee Don Ramon wants to kill him for reasons that aren’t difficult to guess. After Don Ramon in fact does murder Father Antonio, Cristobal embarks on a series of improbably picaresque adventures in Mexico and then across the Atlantic to Spain itself, aided by the flamboyant actor Mateo and the fiery feminist Spanish aristocrat Elena, who falls for him but is betrothed to marry the loathsome Luis, Don Ramon’s loathsome son. Just as the last line of invisible ink dries, who should appear at Cristobal’s prison door but . . . ?

Windy but charming plotboiler overflowing with interesting details about Spanish colonialism, heady Indian mysticism, and numerous puns and winking references to the picaresque novels of the period.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-312-86251-2

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Forge

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2001

Awards & Accolades

Likes

  • Readers Vote
  • 24


Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT


  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2017


  • New York Times Bestseller


  • IndieBound Bestseller


  • National Book Award Finalist

Next book

KILLERS OF THE FLOWER MOON

THE OSAGE MURDERS AND THE BIRTH OF THE FBI

Dogged original research and superb narrative skills come together in this gripping account of pitiless evil.

Awards & Accolades

Likes

  • Readers Vote
  • 24


Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT


  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2017


  • New York Times Bestseller


  • IndieBound Bestseller


  • National Book Award Finalist

Greed, depravity, and serial murder in 1920s Oklahoma.

During that time, enrolled members of the Osage Indian nation were among the wealthiest people per capita in the world. The rich oil fields beneath their reservation brought millions of dollars into the tribe annually, distributed to tribal members holding "headrights" that could not be bought or sold but only inherited. This vast wealth attracted the attention of unscrupulous whites who found ways to divert it to themselves by marrying Osage women or by having Osage declared legally incompetent so the whites could fleece them through the administration of their estates. For some, however, these deceptive tactics were not enough, and a plague of violent death—by shooting, poison, orchestrated automobile accident, and bombing—began to decimate the Osage in what they came to call the "Reign of Terror." Corrupt and incompetent law enforcement and judicial systems ensured that the perpetrators were never found or punished until the young J. Edgar Hoover saw cracking these cases as a means of burnishing the reputation of the newly professionalized FBI. Bestselling New Yorker staff writer Grann (The Devil and Sherlock Holmes: Tales of Murder, Madness, and Obsession, 2010, etc.) follows Special Agent Tom White and his assistants as they track the killers of one extended Osage family through a closed local culture of greed, bigotry, and lies in pursuit of protection for the survivors and justice for the dead. But he doesn't stop there; relying almost entirely on primary and unpublished sources, the author goes on to expose a web of conspiracy and corruption that extended far wider than even the FBI ever suspected. This page-turner surges forward with the pacing of a true-crime thriller, elevated by Grann's crisp and evocative prose and enhanced by dozens of period photographs.

Dogged original research and superb narrative skills come together in this gripping account of pitiless evil.

Pub Date: April 18, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-385-53424-6

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Doubleday

Review Posted Online: Feb. 1, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2017

Next book

NIGHT

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...

Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

Close Quickview