Paperback, 896 pagesPublished June 26th 2012 by Osprey Publishing
A massive fantasy omnibus containing all three novels in the Obsidian and Blood series:
SERVANT OF THE UNDERWORLD
Year One-Knife, Tenochtitlan – the capital of the Aztecs. The end of the world is kept at bay only by the magic of human sacrifice. A priestess disappears from an empty room drenched in blood. Acatl, high priest, must find her, or break the boundaries between the worlds of the living and the dead.
HARBINGER OF THE STORM
The year is Two House and the Mexica Empire teeters on the brink of destruction, lying vulnerable to the flesh-eating star-demons – and to the return of their creator, a malevolent goddess only held in check by the Protector God’s power. The council is convening to choose a new emperor, but when a councilman is found dead, only Acatl, High Priest of the Dead, can solve the mystery.
MASTER OF THE HOUSE OF DARTS
The year is Three Rabbit, and the storm is coming…
The coronation war for the new Emperor has just ended in a failure, the armies retreating with a mere forty prisoners of war – not near enough sacrifices to ensure the favor of the gods. When one of those prisoners of war dies of a magical illness, ACATL, High Priest for the Dead, is summoned to investigate.
Let me begin by clarifying what DNF means for those who don’t know … it means Did Not Finish. In general I don’t review books I don’t finish, but in this case I decided to go for it. Of course I cannot fairly give this book a rating, so I won’t. I did not even make it through the first of the three books.
I DNF this book not because it was bad, but because the mythology included was well beyond my knowledge. This book not only introduces you to the Aztec gods in stunning detail, but then expects you to remember all those stunning details while trying to keep the names like Cocochi, Mahuizoh, Ixtli, Quiyahuayo, and Yolyama straight. And those are the people, not the gods. Their names generally start with X and go on for 25 letters.
Then there are all the certain things you have to do or sacrifice to worship the gods properly. As much as I know and understand animal sacrifice was a huge part of worship for many people, seeing it written in so much detail (good writing, bad visual) does bother me to a degree. I am not a vegetarian, but to me there is a difference in killing for waste and killing for food. The ironic thing here is that they could do all the human sacrifices they want, and they do some, but don’t kill the defenseless little animal. Yeah, I know. I am strange.
With all the difficulties I had with the story, the description was amazing. I could picture with crystal clarity the temples, the flowers, the sights and smells of the city. I could close my eyes, and I was there. The dust, the cool night air, all of it.
Unfortunately, this book wasn’t for me. All around. I know nothing of the Aztec gods, and there are lots of them, the animal sacrifice makes me cringe, and the names are extremely difficult for me to pronounce, making it hard for me to keep the characters straight. When I can’t even make up a pronunciation of a name, I usually skim over it, therefore not really knowing who is who. My own fault, I know.
The reason I chose to review this book was because, while it wasn’t for me, it may be a good read for some of you. I am really interested to hear what you think. Let me know if you read it. Maybe I just didn’t give it enough time. There is always a possibility that I will go back and give it another try in the future. I just have too many books waiting for me to read to spend my time making myself read a book I am not enjoying. Again, the parts I read were well written, it was just the subject of it that I found difficult.