The Highlander (The Rise of the Aztecs, #1)

The Highlander (The Rise of the Aztecs, #1) Born In The Highlands, Kuini Thought His Life Was Simple You Hunt And You Fight, Defending Your Towns Against The Raids Of The Lowlanders And Then Raiding Their Lands In Turn His Father Was The Warriors Leader, And He Wanted To Be Just Like HimYet, Texcoco, The Mighty Capital Of The Lowlands, Seemed Incredibly Beautiful, Sparkling, Its Pyramids Magnificent A Friendship With The Lowlander Boy, The First Son Of The Texcoco Emperor, Seemed Harmless In The Beginning They Were Just Boys, And Their Clandestine Meetings Were Always Fun, Providing Great Entertainment However, On The Day Kuini Agrees To Finally Enter The Magnificent City, It Would All Change He Expected To Get Into Trouble, But He Could Not Foresee The Extent Of The Trouble And, Worst Of All, He Did Not Expect To Uncover Hidden Secrets Concerning His Own Family

Zoe Saadia is the author of several novels of pre Columbian Americas From the architects of the Aztec Empire to the founders of the Iroquois Great League, from the towering pyramids of the Mexican Valley to the longhouses of the Great Lakes, her novels bring long forgotten history, cultures and people to life, tracing pivotal events that brought about the greatness of North and Mesoamerica.Having

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  • Kindle Edition
  • 200 pages
  • The Highlander (The Rise of the Aztecs, #1)
  • Zoe Saadia
  • English
  • 02 October 2019

10 thoughts on “The Highlander (The Rise of the Aztecs, #1)

  1. says:

    The Highlander Rise of the Aztecs 1 by Zoe Saadia is the first in a series of early Mesoamerican historical fiction Saadia has published a large collection of novels about the Central America s indigenous peoples Most Americans have heard of the Aztecs, but know them mostly from the bloody sacrifices and savage nature There has been quite a bit of embellishment in the Aztec stories that most people know My knowledge comes mostly from undergraduate history courses where the history begins with the Spanish contact The indigenous people are given a passing mention Aztecs are warriors, Mayans had primitive science, and the Incas had the gold There is much to these people than that, and historical fiction is a great way learn and enjoy Historical fiction in the case of the Aztecs and surrounding city states requires a bit of work on the author s part In American Civil War historical fiction, the characters need little development We all have a good idea who Lincoln, Lee, Jackson, Grant, and Sherman are, and the mention of their name alone creates a ready made character in our minds For Saadia, it is a bit difficult as there are no readily recognizable figures from this time period and culture for the reader to instantly relate to She has to create believable characters within the historical restrictions The characters in The Highlanders are well developed and reflect the differences between the different groups that inhabit the area surrounding Lake Texcoco The friction between different city states is reflected in the comments of the general public as well as the main characters For a relatively small geographic region, there are very clear cut and deep feelings between neighboring peoples The politics of the region is a main source of information in the story Alliances, tributes, enemies, and diplomacy all play an important role in this story Although this may be the driving force of the plot, events are viewed mostly through the eyes of the two main characters Kuini and Coyotl Kuini, is a highlander living outside the main city states surrounding Lake Texcoco He is the next in line to be the Warrior Leader Although considered barbarians, Kuini is quite the artist Coyotl is the son or the ruler of Texcoco He comes from privilege and civilization The two meet accidentally and develop a friendship even though they homelands are enemies To tie things together Coyotl s sister is introduced as a major character along with an Aztec warrior emissary The characters weave the story together with their mutual experiences and keep the plot moving and tied together The Highlander does historical fiction right There is a plot that is true to history The characters are well developed, likeable, and important to the story and the history This is the kind of historical fiction that is educational and fun to read It is not like read a history of Vietnam It is like having a veteran tell you his experiences in Vietnam The Highlander has that same personal feel More than reading history, you are experiencing history Saadia is off to a great start with this book Highly recommended.

  2. says:

    What can I do for you, oh future Emperor Coyotl s eyes sparkled I came to relieve you of the burden of your prisoner What The surprise of the man was genuine this time I came to take your prisoner away, repeated Coyotl, suddenly sure of himself The eyebrows of the Aztec climbed high Is this what the duties of the Emperor s heir have come to To run around, collecting the offenders who didn t make it to the court in time Is the royal house of Texcoco that thirsty for the blood of this boy No said Coyotl angrily He shifted his weight from one foot to another This case is exceptional, and I will be responsible for this boy from now on, personally Will you stone him personally, too Or will you just strangle him with your own hands Coyotl gasped He will not be executed Then what do you want with him I don t have to tell you You are a guest in this Palace You cannot take people of Texcoco just like that We are not in Tenochtitlan This boy is not from Texcoco, and your people wanted to kill him, anyway It doesn t look like any of you will miss him And what do you want with him The Aztec shook his head calmly, but his eyes grew dangerously cold I don t have to tell you that, either Kuini s gaze leaped from one face to the other, aghast Stop it, he said quietly Please stop arguing They turned to him at once, astounded, wide eyed, as if a statue in the far corner of the room had just opened its mouth He licked his lips Please, stop arguing about me What called the Aztec, clearly thrown out of his usual mocking self assurance Kuini clasped his palms tight I know it sounds strange, he said, licking his lips once again And I m sorry about that It s all just a huge misunderstanding, you see Funny as it may sound, I know both of you mean well and He swallowed I ll go and talk to the Honorable First Son outside, if both of you don t mind He wanted to laugh at the sight of the Aztec s face, so dumbfounded, so astounded the man looked Clasping his lips tight, he proceeded to the doorway, praying that the warriors at the entrance would not try to stop him, hoping that Coyotl would follow promptly Leaning against the plastered wall, he tried to contain his trembling What now The warriors eyed him suspiciously, but said nothing He fought the temptation to walk away, to put as much distance between them and himself as he could, until Coyotl stumbled into the corridor, looking grim Well he asked, stopping at some distance, sounding challenging Shall we go and talk outside Is it safe for you now I don t know Well, I suppose, as long as you are with me His friend s tone softened They stepped into the early afternoon heat and headed down the wide stairs So, said Coyotl, halting at the bottom of the staircase You seem to be on quite good terms with the Aztec Warlord now Kuini shrugged Well, yes He is all right The dark gaze was his answer I suppose you ll be heading for Tenochtitlan now, en route to becoming an Aztec yourself No, I m not He glared at his friend, suddenly very angry I m trying to find my way out of this mess, that s all You were the one to insist that I should come here, remember So stop acting like I did something wrong, like I betrayed you or something Eyes narrow, lips pursed, Coyotl stared back The Aztecs seem as though about to betray us, so if you go with them, you will betray me I m going home the moment I step out of this Palace, this way or another I m not about to get into any of your wars, whichever way they go Acolhua people, Aztecs or Tepanecs, they are all the same to me, they all want to kill me or my people, so I m out of here, out of this mess, out of your wars and politics I should never have come here in the first place Breathing heavily, they glared at each other, oblivious of the people s stares Then Coyotl s eyes focused, lost their fierceness Well, I suppose I should wish you well, he said through his clasped lips Kuini s stomach turned, finding it difficult to see the hurt in the familiar face Coyotl was a friend of many summers, maybe the only friend he had The boys from his town and the villages of his homeland were nothing but playmates, never close enough to share than rough jokes and messing around He dropped his gaze I m sorry I didn t mean it this way Clenching his palms together, he looked at the groomed paths and the carefully planted trees that were swaying ahead, seeing none of it I m just tired of being tossed around Tired and confused I need to go home and think about all this Then I can decide He looked at his friend searchingly Will you understand Coyotl s face softened Yes, of course I still wish you would come to fight with me 4 1 2 stars

  3. says:

    I was hugely impressed by this book It s perfectly edited, deceptively simple, charming, and oh joy without any grammar or punctuation errors Aside from that, though, it s just really, really good.I know absolutely nothing about this period of history, but I know that Ms Saadia is something of an authority on it, and this comes across Although the book is fiction based on historical fact a genre I love , it could also be read purely as a work of fiction, an adventure story it s interesting from a historical point of view, but the main strength of it is in the story telling The writing is smooth and easily readable, with no superfluous or overly detailed passages, and I read it in only about four sittings Ms Saadia has created the story from the young men s point of view so cleverly in some ways it seemed like a young adult s novel She is obviously a natural story teller, and a gifted writer there was absolutely nothing forced about it At no point was I aware of any studied technique, which was lovely one of the drawbacks with reading when you write yourself is that you tend to read like an editor, but I forgot all about that while I was reading this I just enjoyed it I m a great lover of the GRR Martin A Song of Ice and Fire series this reminded me of those books, in parts.I ve read a couple of reviews that say the language is wrong, because the people of that time wouldn t have used words like kid but the dialogue is stylised, so well after all, they wouldn t have used any of the words we use, would they It s obvious that the author has researched the terms of speech that the people of that time and place would have used.I have another of Ms Saadia s books to read At Road s End , but I look forward to reading the others in this series, the Rise of the Aztecs, too Highly recommended, even if it s not your usual genre.

  4. says:

    Fresh and relevant, Zoe Saadia s Highlander stands out in the genre of historical fiction of Ancient Mexico For the first time, the world of the Ancient Mexicans is brought to light for young adult readers Written with intricately woven storytelling, Highlander is a fast paced adventure, filled with political rivalries, enemy alliances, and endearing relationships Applause for the historical integrity of Highlander, a must read for anyone interested in the history of the Aztecs Julie Black, author The Last Toltec King

  5. says:

    An excellent book Zoe Saadia has found a gap in the market and exploited it marvellously If I had to find a fault, and I m not looking for one in such an superb read, I got slightly confused between all the different tribes, but this doesn t affect the storyline or the main characters which are introduced well, built with passion and linked together in a manner that promises from this extraordinary author Saadia clearly has strong sensitivities for this era and I look forward to reading books from her because I suspect forthcoming books will prove an enlightenment lasting several generations.

  6. says:

    The Highlander is the story of two boys whose friendship defies tribal feuds and wars Initially, I wasn t sure whether the novel was aimed at a teenage or adult audience but it quickly became apparent that it doesn t really matter The Highlander is a thrilling, thought provoking read for all ages The two boys, Kuini, a Highlander and Coyotl, who is from the lowlands are both something of free spirits and meet by chance as children Their friendship endures through secret meetings and notes and the main action of the story takes place when they are fifteen and political tensions within the region are at a crisis point Zoe Saadia uses her novel to communicate the valuable message, particularly for young people, that our similarities as human beings are far important than any cultural differences Kuini and Coyotl couldn t have had different upbringings Kuini has been raised to be a warrior in the remote, harsh conditions of the Highlands where his father is a Warlord while Coyotl has enjoyed a pampered childhood as the first son of the Emperor in the urbane Great Capital However, both boys possess an openness and curiosity about life beyond their own experiences It is this natural curiosity that lends excitement to the plot and places the boys, particularly Kuini, in a perilous situation Saadia s passion and knowledge of history is evident on every page and this lends a great deal of credence to the novel There are lots of names and places that are difficult to remember but, as I lost myself in the sheer pleasure of the story, the names that mattered stuck and the rest simply melted away without standing in the way of my enjoyment I particularly liked the way Saadia uses the character of Iztac, who is Coyotl s half sister, to show how women were used as pawns, offered by up by their fathers as a means of appeasing other men Watching Iztac s fate unfold and her spirit and intelligence squandered, is heartbreaking We also see how wives are displaced at the whim of their husbands as Iztac s own mother has never recovered from the indignity of being replaced as the Emperor s chief wife All in all, The Highlander is a thoroughly engaging read about friendship but there are very serious undertones that make it a relevant choice for readers of all ages The Highlander is book one in The Rise of the Aztecs series and it sets a very high bar indeed.

  7. says:

    The Rise of the Aztecs follows on from the pre Aztec series and the story picks up in 1409 with two boys from vastly differing backgrounds Coyotl, a Lowlander, first son of the Emperor and Kuini, a Highlander and son of the War Leader from Huexotzinco The boys meet by chance on Coyotl s favourite hill which overlooks his altepetl, Texcoco, the capital of the Acolhua people A growing friendship develops, both expressing interest in the other s customs and culture The story is told from each of their perspectives as they begin meeting in secret chichen itza 851389_640A few years later, Kuini and Coyotl are still meeting every so often and have discussions about how they would make changes for the better Feeling torn and guilty about his friendship with the future emperor of Texcoco, the fascination with the altepetl and it s architecture, especially the pyramids, Kuini resolves not to go to the hill again after his next visit with Coyotl But Coyotl persuades Kuini to tour Texcoco as his guest When Coyotl is required at the Palace Kuini has to find his own way out of the city An encounter with a girl in the market place forces him into a dangerous confrontation, saved only by the visiting Aztec Warlord Kuini has no idea of the impact this Warlord will have on his life.Kuini is not yet out of danger as, lost and confused, he is helped by the girl from the market, who is actually wayward princess, Iztac Ayotl, Coyotl s half sister Kuini s troubles begin in earnest as he is taken prisoner by the Palace guards for kidnapping As he is hauled before the court the Aztec Warlord again takes a hand in Kuini s future.Plenty of action and intrigue reflect the differences and hostility between the defined groups of people who inhabit the area around Lake Texcoco The interwoven stories from the characters observations build the plot and move it forward brilliantly.Zoe Saadia has a gift which is evident in all her books It s the ability to craft delightfully engaging, realistic characters, while bringing to life, and giving clear visual images of long ago places, times and lifestyles, along with descriptive passages of food, clothing and social interaction The storytelling flows intricately and effortlessly, the characters and storyline well developed Women are still at the mercy of men and used for their own purposes, whether it s wives being deposed or daughters used to further their fathers political advances Learning the history of a little known period in this way is fun and entertaining, as well as educational, and brings authenticity to the story.

  8. says:

    I have always been interested in pre Columbian America, and this book was like a treasure that fell into my lap Incredibly detailed and well researched, it has all the elements of a good story engaging characters, a fast paced plot, and forbidden romance I finished it in about a day and a half, and am looking forward to reading the rest of The Rise of the Aztecs series I daresay most novels featuring the native people of the Americas focus on the cultural clash between those people and the European invaders It is comforting to read about the period in history when the great cultures of Mesoamerica had not yet begun to crumble following the Spanish conquest It was an age of thriving empires, art, science and politics, and it s incredibly sad that it was cut short by the arrival of Europeans, who aptly destroyed every foreign culture they touched Kudos to the author for recreating this fascinating ancient world.

  9. says:

    The Highlander, The Rise of the Aztecs By Zoe SaadiaReviewed by R Murry The Highlander is a well thought out historical novel that portrays real people doing what their nation tribes have done for years The main characters are young leaders breaking out into their own pre determined adventures The elders are determined to control their situations in the world The young people Coyotl, Kuini, and Izrac rebel that world in their own way to change it for others and themselves Ms Saadia brings this out in detailed conversations and confrontations that propels this intriguing developed story forward, keeping the reader s attention The reader will not be bored with historical data The young people are the future and the only names that are important Coyotle, the emperor s first born son, wants to change the way things are done social reform Kuini, the great warlord s son, wants to change breakdown bearers between peoples Iztac, the princess, wants to liberate herself and others from their bondage to the way men think Zoe Saadia makes their points clear, using well developed conversations Although these young people are not Aztecs, they see common ground in others, where the elders don t Especially Kuini, The Highlander, in his confrontations and communal exchanges with the only Aztec The Aztec Warlord To a point, the Aztec influences Kuini s decisions Against the Aztec and his father s wishes, Kuini becomes a warrior in Coyotl s father s army their enemy In this end is a new beginning for Coyotl and Kuini, which may include princess Iztac Fate will determine that end Saadia s novel is an excellent lead in to the next chapter of the lives of these three young leaders I for one will continue to read the series, because of the enjoyable read of book 1 Will you

  10. says:

    This novel is an idea that hits the first page running and the pace never quits.In central Mexico, at a time when there were Aztecs but shortly before the Aztec empire came to be there were a number of tribes around Lake Texcoco, and some of them had created what might as well be called city states, for they indeed had cities, with stone buildings, plazas, pyramids One of these cities was Tenochtitlan, built on an island, home of the Aztecs.Coyotl, teen age son of the ruler of another of these city states Texcoco wanders into the hills, where he accidentally meets, and befriends, a hereditary enemy, the eponymous highlander, considered a barbarian by his own people Kuini, the highlander, also manages to meet Iso, Coyotl s adventurous sister by one of his father s other wives And from there, their three fates become entwined as a war for power begins among the peoples surrounding the lake that built the Aztec civilization But I ll leave it to Saadia s talent to take you through the twists of this tale.One of the intriguing things about the New World is that native empires had recently formed and were expanding , when the advent of Europeans destroyed them the Maya excepted In Mexico, the conquering Spaniards also systematically destroyed the codices picture writing of the Aztecs though not all of them essentially erasing much of their culture and their past for the future Which means that Saadia had far less than she might have to work with, recreating that amazing time and place Yet what she brings to life is a wonderful exploration of this pre Aztec world, new to historical fiction, for to my knowledge she is the first to do so.The Highlander is a great read, tautly plotted, the characters colorful I m greatly looking forward to the rest of the series.

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