Another Review at MyShelf.Com

Shadow Of The Lords

By Simon Levack

   One of the stand-out books from last year was Simon Levack’s darkly comic, wonderfully original whodunit set during the final years of the Aztecs.

   Yaotl the slave is back for a second outing, following on directly from the other book and proving that, just like Jack Bauer, he can make a day last a hell of a long time. This is good news for us readers though, so prepare for another bloodstained feast of murder and mayhem!

   Once again it is perhaps almost immaterial what the book is actually about, as reading about the Aztecs is so utterly absorbing. We don’t very often get the chance to do this, and as Yaotl stumbles around the city looking for clues and narrating the story (always a good touch) he is telling us all about the world he inhabits in a way that never comes across as a lecture.

   He is looking for his son Nimble who is wanted for murder, and trying to keep ahead of some psychopathic soldiers and his unpleasant master Lord Feathered-in-Black who seems keen to see him suffer. It is a tortuous plot that keeps the reader on their toes, and which revolves around the world of the Aztecs’ most prized craftsmen and women, the feather workers. This is an exciting, breathless tale full of the meticulously described intricacies of a very alien way of life along with plenty of plot, some lively characters.

   I think it will also be one of the stand-out whodunits for 2005 as well. I just hope that those rascally Conquistadors aren’t going to appear too soon though because there are plenty of other books around that tell us about those, aren’t there? For the present sink your teeth into this treat. Highly enjoyable.

The Book

Simon & Schuster
7 February 2005
Trade Paperback
Historical Crime [1517, Mexico]
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NOTE: Violence

The Reviewer

Rachel A Hyde
Reviewed 2005
© 2005