Friday, 28 February 2014

The Fall of the Empire by Zoe Saadia

Reviewer: Liza Perrat, author of Spirit of Lost Angels and Wolfsangel (

What we thought: powerful, action-packed and imaginatively based on historical fact.

I love historical fiction that sweeps me back to times I know nothing about; that allows me to experience life as it was then, and The Fall of the Empire – the final book in Zoe Saadia’s Rise of the Aztec series – does just that.

Set in the Tepanec Empire (today’s Mexico), it begins with the trader, Etl, overhearing a band of soldiers planning to overthrow the emperor, and the pretty, smart and determined Tlalli – a girl who is plotting her revenge against the emperor.

The turmoil is intriguing, and had me switching sides from chapter to chapter. The battles are captivating and the story, with its great drama and unexpected twists, moves forward to a historically-accurate conclusion.

The characters are so well-drawn that we feel we are there, with them, trying to stay alive in a situation they have no control over. And when, at the end, we have to leave Etl, Tlacaelel, Tlalli and the others, it feels like saying goodbye to real people.

With its characters blended from real and imagined people, its accurate historical fact, and a pace that never flags, I would highly recommend this book (and the entire Rise of the Aztec series) to fans of pre-Columbian historical fiction.

You’ll enjoy this if you like: action-packed adventure stories of revenge and survival, featuring warriors, traders and emperors.

Avoid if you don’t like: stories about Aztecs and slaves.

Ideal accompaniments: Corn tortillas stuffed with roasted grasshoppers.

Genre: Historical Fiction

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