The Serpent and the Eagle by award-winning author, Edward Rickford, is the first book in the Tenochtitlan Trilogy. It was 1stplace winner in the 2018 Chaucer Book Awards for pre-1750s historical fiction, and won the Silver Medal in the Readers’ Favorite Historical Fiction Event category for 2019.
It is 1519, and Cortez has landed in Mexico. This book is especially enlightening, as the story is told from the points of view of both the Aztecs and the Spanish conquistadors. It reminds the reader of the Europeans’ greed and unquenchable thirst for gold, and the lengths to which they went to steal it.
While The Serpent and the Eagle tells the story of the months leading up to the meeting between Cortes and Motecuhzoma, it reveals, yet again, how human nature is essentially the same throughout history. For example, while discussing the Spaniards, the local people wondered “…how much longer until they start referring to our lands as their home?” Of course, this is exactly what the Native Americans must have said about our ancestors here in the U.S.
Mr. Rickford has met the challenge of maintaining historical accuracy, while developing a tension-filled, narrative that flows smoothly, and has well developed characters. If he maintains this technique he is in store for many more awards.
What Makes this Reviewer Grumpy?
Only the usual mistakes that we all make in our daily speech. Unfortunately, we can’t get away with as much in writing as we can in speaking. Still, I gave it 5 stars.
- Referring to people as “that” rather than “who”;
- using further in place of farther – they are not interchangeable;
- split infinitives;
- missing commas;
- beginning sentences with conjunctions.