Friday, May 07, 2010

Shadow of the Lords by Simon Levack

Title: Shadow of the Lords
Author: Simon Levack
ISBN: 0743239776, Simon & Schuster UK, 2005
Genre: Historical Mystery, #2 Aztec mystery
Rating: B+
Source: Bookcloseouts

First Line: "Listen!" my brother cried.

This is the second mystery featuring ex-priest and now wily slave, Yaotl, who lives in the sixteenth-century capital of the Aztec empire, Mexico-Tenochtitlan. This second book takes up right where the first, Demon of the Air, left off.

While investigating a death in order to protect his son, Yaotl learns that the god Quetzalcoatl has been seen staggering down the streets of the capital, in full-feathered splendor, and in no time at all he finds himself searching for answers in the elite section of the city that houses the feather workers.

Levack includes maps of the country and capital city, as well as explanations of the Aztec calendar and language to help readers, but after skimming over them, I found myself referring to the map of the city a time or two and that's all. What immersed me in this story is Levack's writing. I could easily picture myself walking the streets or sitting in a boat on one of the canals of Tenochtitlan. I could see the temples. When I looked at characters, I found my eyes starting with their hairstyles and working their way down. I watched workers put together dazzling examples of the feather workers' art. I was there piecing together clues with a crafty man named Yaotl who was trying, not only to protect his son, but protect himself from a beating... or worse.

Since Shadow of the Lords also ends with a cliffhanger and I have the third book in the series sitting on my shelves, I know I can look forward to meeting with Yaotl once again.

If you like to be taken to another time and another place completely alien to your own in order to solve a mystery, pick up an Aztec mystery by Simon Levack. Not only will you be entertained, but the author will leave you feeling you have an idea of what it may have been like to live in the Aztec Empire.

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