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Montezuma's Daughter by H. Rider Haggard, Fiction, Historical, Literary, Fantasy

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I, Thomas Wingfield, of the Lodge and the parish of Ditchingham in the county of Norfolk, being now of a great age and having only a short time to live, turn to pen and ink. Ten years ago, namely, in the year 1578, it pleased her Majesty, our gracious Queen Elizabeth, who at that date visited this county, that I should be brought before her at Norwich. There and then, sayi I, Thomas Wingfield, of the Lodge and the parish of Ditchingham in the county of Norfolk, being now of a great age and having only a short time to live, turn to pen and ink. Ten years ago, namely, in the year 1578, it pleased her Majesty, our gracious Queen Elizabeth, who at that date visited this county, that I should be brought before her at Norwich. There and then, saying that the fame of it had reached her, she commanded me to give her some particulars of the story of my life, or rather of those twenty years, more or less, which I spent among the Indians at that time when Cortes conquered their country of Anahuac, which is now known as Mexico.


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I, Thomas Wingfield, of the Lodge and the parish of Ditchingham in the county of Norfolk, being now of a great age and having only a short time to live, turn to pen and ink. Ten years ago, namely, in the year 1578, it pleased her Majesty, our gracious Queen Elizabeth, who at that date visited this county, that I should be brought before her at Norwich. There and then, sayi I, Thomas Wingfield, of the Lodge and the parish of Ditchingham in the county of Norfolk, being now of a great age and having only a short time to live, turn to pen and ink. Ten years ago, namely, in the year 1578, it pleased her Majesty, our gracious Queen Elizabeth, who at that date visited this county, that I should be brought before her at Norwich. There and then, saying that the fame of it had reached her, she commanded me to give her some particulars of the story of my life, or rather of those twenty years, more or less, which I spent among the Indians at that time when Cortes conquered their country of Anahuac, which is now known as Mexico.

30 review for Montezuma's Daughter by H. Rider Haggard, Fiction, Historical, Literary, Fantasy

  1. 5 out of 5

    Sandy

    Written between June 5th and September 3rd, 1891, H. Rider Haggard's 16th novel out of an eventual 58, "Montezuma's Daughter," was ultimately published in October 1893. The previous winter, Haggard and his wife Louisa had been in Mexico hunting for treasure, and on February 8th, the author had learned of the death of his 9-year-old son "Jock" back in England. The grieving father wrote "Montezuma's Daughter" as what his biographer D.S. Higgins calls a "therapeutic act," and, following and precedi Written between June 5th and September 3rd, 1891, H. Rider Haggard's 16th novel out of an eventual 58, "Montezuma's Daughter," was ultimately published in October 1893. The previous winter, Haggard and his wife Louisa had been in Mexico hunting for treasure, and on February 8th, the author had learned of the death of his 9-year-old son "Jock" back in England. The grieving father wrote "Montezuma's Daughter" as what his biographer D.S. Higgins calls a "therapeutic act," and, following and preceding two of the author's greatest works--1892's "Nada the Lily" and 1894's "The People of the Mist"--demonstrates that the author, despite his bereavement, was then at the very top of his game. The novel takes the form of a memoir written by a half Englishman (his mother was Spanish) named Thomas Wingfield. Sitting down to write in 1588, immediately following the defeat of the Spanish Armada (an event that apparently elates Thomas...and for good reason, as it turns out!) and by request of his Queen Elizabeth, the old man relates to us the story of how he took vengeance on the Spanish cavalier Juan de Garcia. Seventy years earlier, Garcia had murdered his own cousin, Wingfield's mother, and the trail of vengeance that young Thomas follows brings him to some very strange places, indeed. (WARNING: Spoilers ahead!) Thomas trails the villain to Seville, where he becomes a quack doctor's apprentice and witnesses the horrors of the Inquisition; follows him to the New World, en route suffering a shipwreck (a shipwreck would also figure prominently in such Haggard novels as 1888's "Mr. Meeson's Will," 1905's "Benita" and 1929's "Mary of Marion Isle") and a period of slavery aboard a Spanish caraque; and finally fetches up on the shores of what is now Tobasco, Mexico. All that, in just the novel's first 1/3! Once in ancient Mexico, Thomas is captured by the Aztecs, becomes a living god, marries Otomie (the titular character)--despite the fact that he is engaged to an Englishwoman back home--and, like some 16th century Forrest Gump, witnesses the arrival of Cortes and the many battles resulting in the downfall of Tenoctitlan (now called Mexico City) and the Aztec empire. (During all this time, Thomas encounters Garcia on numerous occasions, with the villain always seeming to gain the upper hand somehow.) It is just remarkable how much action and adventure Haggard manages to cram into this work of historical fiction--the book is replete with at least three marvelously described battle sequences, pyramid sacrifices, sieges, scenes of torture, high romance, political intrigue, sword fights, cliffhangers and on and on--and for those readers not familiar with the details of this bit of history, a reading of this novel will certainly prove a fun and entertaining way to learn. Thomas Wingfield was a character obviously very close to Haggard's own heart. Like the author, he resided in Ditchingham in Norfolk, and suffered the loss of his son; to be accurate, somewhat sadistically, the author has Wingfield lose no less than five children during the course of this novel! Also like the author, Thomas marries a woman even though his heart still belongs to a woman named Lily (in Haggard's case, Lilly Jackson, the love of his youth). Wingfield is a wonderful character, headstrong and brave; a deeply moral man, who obviously feels great guilt about marrying an Indian woman when previously betrothed. Otomie, too, is a well-drawn creation, a noble, fearless and loving wife, though still more than half savage, as events prove. De Garcia, it must be said, is one of the best, most sadistic villains that Haggard ever created, and must immediately be placed in the pantheon of the author's great lovesick wretches that includes Frank Muller in "Jess" (1887), Owen Davies in "Beatrice" (1890), Samuel Rock in "Joan Haste" (1895), Swart Piet in "Swallow" (1899), Ishmael in "The Ghost Kings" (1908) and Hernando Pereira in the Allan Quatermain adventure "Marie" (1912). Though the vengeance that Thomas takes on de Garcia is long delayed (20 years!), it is well worth the wait, taking place against the backdrop of the Xaca volcano. And speaking of pantheons, the real-life character of Marina, the native woman who betrayed her people and aided Cortes, must be placed in the pantheon of exotic Haggardian women who dare much for love and sacrifice more, a pantheon that includes Maiwa in "Maiwa's Revenge" (1888), Noie in "The Ghost Kings," Mameena in "Child of Storm" (1913) and, of course, Ayeesha, from the author's seminal "She" (1887) and its three sequels. "Montezuma's Daughter," in short, is a rip-roaring, sweeping historical adventure with few if any fantasy elements. Haggard, the so-called "Father of the Lost Race Novel," needed none of those elements here; his wonderfully described Aztec world is quite fantastic enough, and the various portents and demonic possessions that take place supposedly have a documented basis. It is a tale, as Lily puts it, "wondrous strange, more like those that happen in romances than in this plain world," but thank goodness that we had an H. Rider Haggard to give us those wonderful romances! This book, if adapted faithfully, would cost a good $300 million to bring to the screen today, and even then probably wouldn't be half as perfect. This is the kind of novel that one closes after many a thrill-packed night, maybe with a tear in the eye, and says, "My God, what a book!" This was the 40th novel of Haggard's that I have read, and I'm delighted to report that it is one of his very best.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Micah

    A highly engaging adventure with the singular fault of being most unlikely. And, well, verbose. This is a tale of murder, vengeance, war, and love. The reader grows to hate the archvillain, Juan de Garcia, about as much as does the hero, Thomas Wingfield. I have arguably learned more about the Aztec culture and final days from this novel than from all my days in school--though that may well be my own fault.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Algernon (Darth Anyan)

    [5/10] A dissapointment, I'm always on the lookout for titles dealing with pre-Columbian cultures in South America. Montezuma's Daughter hasn't aged very well, or possibly I aged too much. I wonder if re-reading a childhood favorite like Inca Treasure by Karl May would leave the same sense of wasted time that this one did. It's also possible that after reading Gary Jennings Aztec masterpiece I would judge any new book on the subject to his high standard. I've also read King Solomon's Mines about [5/10] A dissapointment, I'm always on the lookout for titles dealing with pre-Columbian cultures in South America. Montezuma's Daughter hasn't aged very well, or possibly I aged too much. I wonder if re-reading a childhood favorite like Inca Treasure by Karl May would leave the same sense of wasted time that this one did. It's also possible that after reading Gary Jennings Aztec masterpiece I would judge any new book on the subject to his high standard. I've also read King Solomon's Mines about 20 years ago, and it didn't feel as badly written as this one. My problems with the book are not related to the plot. There is a lot of potential for adventure in a tale of exotic empires and personal vendetta at the time of Cortez and his Conquistadores. The main character starts out quite well as a young English squire with a Spanish mother in a small English village. For about a third of the book, he is following his personal nemesis to Seville in Spain, across the Atlantic Ocean, and finally on the shores of Mexico. This part read OK, but a little drawn out for a swashbuckling epic and peppered with a lot of internal monologue and religious overtones. I kept waiting for the good parts to arrive, the depiction of the Aztec civilization and of its doomed destiny. And here it is where I felt the book is very thin on actual information, it focuses almost exclusively on human sacrifices, and its rather simplistic in presenting the conflict in terms of Christians versus savages. In all fairness, there are some positive portrayals of Cuahtemoc and several other natives, and some mention of Spanish atrocities, but the pious / self righteous voice of the main character got worse the closer I got to the final chapters. In conclusion, I don't see this book as one of the best efforts from H Rider Haggard, it doesn't have enough details about the culture it tries to present, but it can be interesting to a younger reader or to somebody doing research on early 20 century pulp.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Tatevik

    Test for Goodreads developers.

  5. 4 out of 5

    John Yelverton

    An absolutely amazing story about a man who lets vengeance consume his life so that he misses out on all the blessings God puts in his path. A truly great book that everyone should read.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Joseph

    Haggard jumps the Atlantic to write a historical novel set during the fall of the Aztec Empire at the hands of Cortes and his Conquistadores. Although Montezuma's titular daughter, Otomie, doesn't even appear until a fair ways into the book. The story is narrated by one Thomas Wingfield of England, and the first quarter of the book has him providing a lengthy history of himself and his native lands (as was the style at the times), including young Lily, his first true love (much to his and her fat Haggard jumps the Atlantic to write a historical novel set during the fall of the Aztec Empire at the hands of Cortes and his Conquistadores. Although Montezuma's titular daughter, Otomie, doesn't even appear until a fair ways into the book. The story is narrated by one Thomas Wingfield of England, and the first quarter of the book has him providing a lengthy history of himself and his native lands (as was the style at the times), including young Lily, his first true love (much to his and her fathers' chagrin); then a Spaniard appears and does something dastardly, and Thomas swears vengeance and pursues him first to Spain and then to the New World where, due to circumstances, he gets separated from the Spanish expedition and adopted by the natives, and then spends much of the rest of the book wandering Aztec lands either one step ahead of the Spaniards or organizing the natives to resist as Cortes' actual intentions become apparent. And Montezuma's daughter, Otomie, does eventually make an appearance and, well, it's Haggard, so while the course of true love never does run smooth, it at least runs. I don't know how well Haggard's scholarship holds up at this point (I'm guessing it's ... not great), and sometimes the book does have a bit of a Perils of Pauline feel as Thomas keeps getting shipwrecked, nearly sacrificed to pagan gods, etc., etc., but it's still a very readable tale of adventure.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Sara

    I'm not usually a fan of adventure stories, but this one hooked me in. It has it all: a love story (or two), a quest for revenge, exotic people, riches, high seas adventure, etc. It got a little long, and by the time I was 3/4 through, I was ready to get to the big finish(es), but, overall, I really enjoyed this. It also doesn't hurt that it's public domain/free download. I'm not usually a fan of adventure stories, but this one hooked me in. It has it all: a love story (or two), a quest for revenge, exotic people, riches, high seas adventure, etc. It got a little long, and by the time I was 3/4 through, I was ready to get to the big finish(es), but, overall, I really enjoyed this. It also doesn't hurt that it's public domain/free download.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jackie Wadsworth

    Well, where to start? I read a couple of reviews of this book, and was pretty unimpressed with them. It is set in the time of Elizabeth I, so some considerable time ago. It is set, mostly, in Central America, among the Aztecs, who were the forerunners to Mexicans and similar. There is much talk of sacrifice to heathen gods, and people do a lot of killing. So the poor precious people who gave it 1 star because they are vegan and can't cope with blood shed should probably pop off now and go and re Well, where to start? I read a couple of reviews of this book, and was pretty unimpressed with them. It is set in the time of Elizabeth I, so some considerable time ago. It is set, mostly, in Central America, among the Aztecs, who were the forerunners to Mexicans and similar. There is much talk of sacrifice to heathen gods, and people do a lot of killing. So the poor precious people who gave it 1 star because they are vegan and can't cope with blood shed should probably pop off now and go and read something about animals being friends (and don't, whatever you do, read the Redwall series, because that is about animals killing other animals!! ) Anyway, once you can get your head around the fact that it is probably reasonably historically accurate (reasonably, not completely), and that not only is set in Elizabethan times, but it was written in Victorian times at the height of the British Empire.... you can start reading. So, Thomas Wingfield, half English, half Spanish, is getting on a bit, his wife has recently died and he is ready himself to meet his maker. But before he goes, he wants to write his memoirs, the story of his life, which starts in Ditchingham in Norfolk, and takes us across the seas to Spain, then Mexico (as it now is) and back again. It begins with Thomas explaining his love of Lily, the gentleman's daughter across the valley in Norfolk. They aren't allowed to be together because Thomas is the second son, and therefore won't inherit from his father, so Lily's dad wants her to marry Geoffrey, the older brother, who is a bit of a cad but gets all the money. Thomas and Lily meet in secret, and one day, on the way to an illicit meeting, Thomas bumps into a Spaniard, who claims to know his mother. But Thomas is wary because his parents are worried about a Spaniard, de Garcia, who they knew in Spain, and who was due to marry his mother (Thomas's mother), but couldn't because she did a runner with Thomas's dad. So, he meets this Spaniard, who is of course none other than de Garcia, and they have a fight. But Thomas is desperate to meet Lily, so instead of dealing with the scoundrel, he ties him to a tree, and goes to meet his lady love. While he is a-wooing her, the local idiot comes across de Garcia and unties him. De Garcia heads straight to Thomas's home, and ultimately ends up killing his mother. Thomas is enraged (and a bit ashamed, as well he ought) and declares that he will kill de Garcia and will not rest until it is done. So he leaves home, leaves Lily (but not before they promise that they will wait for each other, and that they will love each other for ever, and never marry until they can marry each other, and she gives him her ring with the words "In my heart though far apart" for him to wear for all time), and sets sail a day or two behind Garcia for Spain. Once in Spain he loses track of Garcia and ends up working for a local quack who makes a lot of money telling people, mainly women, what they want to hear. The chap dies after about a year and leaves all that he has to Thomas, who he has treated like a son. Thomas sells what he has and decides to go looking for de Garcia again. He comes across him involved with a woman who is supposed to be a nun, and has been sentenced to death by being bricked up alive in a wall. Nice. Thomas chases Garcia and ends up on a boat bound for the West Indies. He is captured and taken aboard a slave ship, which has on its staff de Garcia - what a coincidence! The ship is wrecked and Thomas sails off in a barrel, avoiding the sharks, and manages to land safely on the shores of what is now Mexico (I think). He finds some local people who help him out and he learns their language, and is then whisked away to meet Montezuma, king of the Aztecs who has heard of this white man landing on their shores and wants to meet him. He is nearly sacrificed to some dreadful demon/god of the Aztecs but escapes at the last minute. He is then declared to be the god Tezcat reincarnated and is treated as a god for a year, but then has to die horribly at the hand of the blood thirsty priests to enable someone else to become Tezcat. During this year he is given 4 wives, one of which is Otomie, daughter of Montezuma (we got there in the end!), who is madly in love with him. During this year too, the Spanish attack and are taking over the country. The various tribes are joining up with them, and eventually they get to what is now Mexico City (but back then had a different name) and the city is constantly under attack. Montezuma is deposed by his nephew because he becomes "like a woman" and is unable to make a decision about how to respond to the attack. Misogyny at is best! (although to be fair, it was 1500 and something, so that was kind of how the world worked, however wrong we now know it to be). Thomas, as Tezcat, is led to the top of the pyramid with his wives and is about to be killed when lo and behold the Spanish arrive just in time to distract the mad priests and Thomas and Otomie escape. Thomas declares his love for Otomie and she is delighted because she is mad for him, and they agree that they will remain married. Thomas battles with himself, but decides that Lily will probably have married someone else by now, and besides, he can't see himself living long enough to get back to her, and really, it's ok that he broke his oath to her. They have a final big battle with the Spanish and are captured. Cortes, leader of the Spanish army, knows that Thomas and his Aztec friends have hidden all the gold etc, and he wants it! So he has Thomas tortured to find its whereabouts. And who is the torturer? The lovely de Garcia of course! He has Thomas at his mercy! Aha, his time has come! But no, Cortes's lover has a soft spot for Thomas and helps him and Otomie escape. They run away (limp away, Thomas's foot is badly burned in the torture chamber) to Otomie's mother's people, the Otomie (it got a bit confusing at times), where they finally find peace after trapping the Spanish in the narrow pass between mountains and throwing rocks at them. Over the next few years, there are many battles with the Spanish, some years of peace, Otomie and Thomas have 4 boys, 3 of which die in childhood which is sad, and then we come to the end of the tale, the last battle with the Spanish who had disappeared for a while to lick their wounds, but have come back to take the last stronghold of the Aztecs, the City of Pines. Thomas leads the charge against them, but the Spanish are cleverer this time and anticipate his moves. They defeat him and his small army, and he is taken, with Otomie, his son and various others, to the Spanish camp. And who should we come across but the ever present de Garcia! Only this time he goes too far and while Thomas is being questioned by Cortes, de Garcia kills his last and only son (who is not quite a man, so I'm guessing 12 or so). Thomas chases Garcia across the plains and up the side of a volcano. They shout abuse at each other and eventually Garcia goes mad and starts fighting nothing - I'm guessing we're supposed to believe that the ghosts of the people he has killed are attacking him (or he think they are). He falls over the lip of the volcano and is swallowed up by the heaving lava. Nice. Thomas heads back to camp, tired and injured. Otomie comes to him and tells him that she can no longer live, her who life has gone. She takes poison and dies. Thomas realises that he never really stopped loving Lily, and sets sail for England. He finds Lily, and it turns out that she never did marry, because she didn't break her oath to him. But she forgives him for marrying another, and they marry and spend the rest of their lives together. She dies in her 80s, so they got a good long time together (about 40 years) and now Thomas is back in Ditchingham and ready to meet with God, and reunite with his wives, his children and his friends. I loved the book, it was a bit over the top and massively dramatic, but it was so exciting, the battles, the wit, the running... The love thing about waiting for Lily got a bit tiresome, every time Thomas thought about how he loved Otomie he would remember Lily and play with the ring she gave him but it wasn't too bad. I do find love stories inside a story about something else a bit annoying - I'm not a big one for romance (apart from the Strike series, that's different!). 4 stars for me, really enjoyed it. Although She and King Solomon's Mines were probably better.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Paul Cornelius

    Having read the Quatermain and Ayesha series, I saw how Haggard's writing style transformed from the late Victorian prose style to a more rapidly paced narrative the later his works appeared. Montezuma's Daughter, then, was a return to the period of writing that earlier characterized Quatermain. And the writing style is similar, although the content, the story, the character, and even the dialog is markedly different. In fact, Haggard elevates his efforts, here. In some ways, Montezuma's Daughte Having read the Quatermain and Ayesha series, I saw how Haggard's writing style transformed from the late Victorian prose style to a more rapidly paced narrative the later his works appeared. Montezuma's Daughter, then, was a return to the period of writing that earlier characterized Quatermain. And the writing style is similar, although the content, the story, the character, and even the dialog is markedly different. In fact, Haggard elevates his efforts, here. In some ways, Montezuma's Daughter is better than his earlier works of the 1880s, which themselves, by and large, were superior to the somewhat repetitive novels that appeared in the twentieth century. What pervades all Haggard's work is the sentiment, which is overwhelmingly melancholic. He seems to have grappled with his mortality through his protagonists from the very beginning. Almost all his novels follow the same pattern of an elaborate flashback. There is never any secret of the ultimate outcome of the stories, all of which are told in advance. It is the telling of the tale that Haggard is most concerned. And with that, he fills his narratives with ideas, speculations, and wonder at the mysteries of death to come. All of that is especially true of Montezuma's Daughter. Here, the story ranges over oceans and continents and back to the embrace of origins, where the ultimate rest awaits. How do the lives of those who remained in England compare to the Thomas', who gained fame and wealth in Spain, all to lose it to slavery and then rise again in the context of the epic wars of Cortez against the Aztecs. And at the end? At the end, all are atoms dwelling away under the heavens of eternity. Always a fun and provocative read with Haggard.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Tamera

    Enjoyed this book! It took me about 50 pages to get the rhythm of the writing, once I did I couldn't wait to find out what would happen next. I read this on a Kindle I wish I could have read a paper book but it was free so I'll get over it. Enjoyed this book! It took me about 50 pages to get the rhythm of the writing, once I did I couldn't wait to find out what would happen next. I read this on a Kindle I wish I could have read a paper book but it was free so I'll get over it.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Leslie Pett

    I read this because I needed a book to read and it was free on Kindle. Honestly, I finished it last year so I don't remember enough details but it was a decent read. I read this because I needed a book to read and it was free on Kindle. Honestly, I finished it last year so I don't remember enough details but it was a decent read.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Ashikur Rahman

    Montezuma’s Daughter, in short, is a rip-roaring, sweeping historical adventure with few if any fantasy elements. Haggard, the so-called “Father of the Lost Race Novel,” needed none of those elements here; his wonderfully described Aztec world is quite fantastic enough, and the various portents and demonic possessions that take place supposedly have a documented basis. It is a tale, as Lily puts it, “wondrous strange, more like those that happen in romances than in this plain world,” but thank g Montezuma’s Daughter, in short, is a rip-roaring, sweeping historical adventure with few if any fantasy elements. Haggard, the so-called “Father of the Lost Race Novel,” needed none of those elements here; his wonderfully described Aztec world is quite fantastic enough, and the various portents and demonic possessions that take place supposedly have a documented basis. It is a tale, as Lily puts it, “wondrous strange, more like those that happen in romances than in this plain world,” but thank goodness that we had an H. Rider Haggard to give us those wonderful romances! This book, if adapted faithfully, would cost a good $300 million to bring to the screen today, and even then probably wouldn’t be half as perfect. This is the kind of novel that one closes after many a thrill-packed night, maybe with a tear in the eye, and says, “My God, what a book!” This was the 4th novel of Haggard’s that I have read, and I’m delighted to report that it is one of his very best.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Fred Thompson

    As a kid 60+ years ago, I discovered H. Rider Haggard's romances. What I could find, I read and, in some cases, reread. When, thanks to the Gutenberg Project I happened onto "Montezuma's Daughter" https://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/1848, I started reading and, poof, I was halfway through it. My score goes more to my enjoyment of the book than to its literary merits, Haggard is dreadfully prolix by contemporary standards. Moreover the story is truly fantastic, although much less so than some of his As a kid 60+ years ago, I discovered H. Rider Haggard's romances. What I could find, I read and, in some cases, reread. When, thanks to the Gutenberg Project I happened onto "Montezuma's Daughter" https://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/1848, I started reading and, poof, I was halfway through it. My score goes more to my enjoyment of the book than to its literary merits, Haggard is dreadfully prolix by contemporary standards. Moreover the story is truly fantastic, although much less so than some of his better known works and it does cleave fairly well to historical events, if not the best recent scholarship. It's a rousing good boy's own adventure and I'll leave it to that.

  14. 5 out of 5

    George

    First person narration bt Thomas Wingfield, an Englishman whose adventures include having his mother murdered, a brush with the Spanish Inquisition, shipwreck, and slavery as he searches for the Spanish villian who killed Thomas’ mother. He is relating the story 70 years after it opens in 1578. Thomas’ revenge quest takes him to Mexico becoming involved with Cortez as Thomas sides with the Aztecs. It is a story of the fall of the Aztec empireand Thomas’ 2 loves. Typical of Haggard's style, the t First person narration bt Thomas Wingfield, an Englishman whose adventures include having his mother murdered, a brush with the Spanish Inquisition, shipwreck, and slavery as he searches for the Spanish villian who killed Thomas’ mother. He is relating the story 70 years after it opens in 1578. Thomas’ revenge quest takes him to Mexico becoming involved with Cortez as Thomas sides with the Aztecs. It is a story of the fall of the Aztec empireand Thomas’ 2 loves. Typical of Haggard's style, the true loves face numerous trials and tribulations while the story goes on and on and on.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Armen Abrahamyan

    One of the best, if not the best adventures book of victorian era. I remember having so many emotions after reading this first time, when I was 14, I guess. It's an absolute delight to enter Haggard's world, which is so close to real one. Tremendous amount of work by author describing new Spain. Underground research of the book is fantastic. The last ever great creation by Haggard. Re-reading this every year. Goes as fast as a good a movie ! One of the best, if not the best adventures book of victorian era. I remember having so many emotions after reading this first time, when I was 14, I guess. It's an absolute delight to enter Haggard's world, which is so close to real one. Tremendous amount of work by author describing new Spain. Underground research of the book is fantastic. The last ever great creation by Haggard. Re-reading this every year. Goes as fast as a good a movie !

  16. 4 out of 5

    Shamim Al

    A story of an Englishman,Thomas Wingfeild who was a happy teenager,fall in love with a girl,Lily.But a Spaniard,Huan Di Garcia killed his mother & Wingfeild chased him to Spain.From Spain,he went through a roller coaster ride & landed in Mexico.There she met beautiful,intelligent but burbaric Otomi.The princess Of Montejuma.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Christopher

    A great adventure story, story of intermixing of the best and the worst of human emotions: love, hate, loyalty, betrayal, courage, cowardice, faith, fear and many things in between. Not forgetting the taint of history, dark and sordid history. I enjoyed the book.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Ruslik

    remarkable

  19. 4 out of 5

    Zumrud Quluzade

    very enjoyable exciting book for adventure lovers

  20. 5 out of 5

    Lina

    i was bored out of my mind while reading it and i prefer not to be when i read adventure novels

  21. 5 out of 5

    Alvi Rahman Shovon

    One of the best book of Henry Rider Haggard. The bengali translation of Kazi Anwar Hossain was superb I must say.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Zohrab Getikian

    I read this as a child translated into my mother tongue. I don't remember how different it was but reading as an adult and in English feels a whole new book but also so nostalgic. I read this as a child translated into my mother tongue. I don't remember how different it was but reading as an adult and in English feels a whole new book but also so nostalgic.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Ksenia Bazan

    Montezuma's Daughter is the novel that strives to be a lot but ends up not achieving its goal. In the book we have three different locations (England, Spain, Mexico) and three main plot lines (a) the confrontation between Thomas and Juan de Garcia; b) relationship of Thomas and Otomi and c) the fight of indigineous people in Mexico for their freedom). As you can see it's really a lot. And for the first third of the book it's done pretty well in terms of its pacing. My favorite part so far has be Montezuma's Daughter is the novel that strives to be a lot but ends up not achieving its goal. In the book we have three different locations (England, Spain, Mexico) and three main plot lines (a) the confrontation between Thomas and Juan de Garcia; b) relationship of Thomas and Otomi and c) the fight of indigineous people in Mexico for their freedom). As you can see it's really a lot. And for the first third of the book it's done pretty well in terms of its pacing. My favorite part so far has been the protagonist's life in Seville and his relationship with his mentor. But then his journey to Mexico lost me. at University I had Latin American studies so I know the history behind Montezuma VS Cortes confrontation so I can see that the author did great research and really had a hard work preparing the material for the book. But the characters on the location were black and white, we can definitely see the author's point of view and what he stands for. Sometimes I thought I'm reading again one of the notes I took throughout my studies. I mean it was not sophisticated enough to write the characters of Montezuma and Cortes as some cheesy and cliched ones as I wanted to see a deeper examination of these historical figures although I understand that we have a story about the Englishman brought into the conflict not about the people who changed the history. The villain is extremely cartoonish, pure evil, he seems to be a mere plot device to bring Thomas to the New World and make him stay there for so long. The Otomi-Lily rivalry seems a good part of the story as we have a torn soul of Thomas who is full of guilt and fascination, his doubts and thoughts made the characters be realastic and human at the same time. So I'm kinda Thomas who's haunted by his doubts about his past and living in the moment. Loved the England and Spain parts, kinda meh about his Mexico stay. Overall for those who doesn't know a lot about this period of time I would recommend to read it carefully and do not paint the history black in white, in most cases and this one is not the exception it's about grey areas that are not presented in the book.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Profession

    Have you happened to reveal that the greatest story in the world lays on your hands at the moment? I did. From the first pages I understood, "Here it is, my favorite book". I was dreaded last it should end. And the reason is the manner of presentation. First you know something is going to take place, then you're finding out how it would be. Next chapter, or somewhere you wouldn't expect, but it's inevitably. I tried to prolong it. I didn't want it to end. I trow it away to delay reading some cha Have you happened to reveal that the greatest story in the world lays on your hands at the moment? I did. From the first pages I understood, "Here it is, my favorite book". I was dreaded last it should end. And the reason is the manner of presentation. First you know something is going to take place, then you're finding out how it would be. Next chapter, or somewhere you wouldn't expect, but it's inevitably. I tried to prolong it. I didn't want it to end. I trow it away to delay reading some chapters which names threatened with terrible development to come. I pleaded destiny to spare people of Anahuac from savage oppressors. Oh, how I wished this book were much more then one thin volume. What should I read now when the most perfect and romantic story is over, and nothing can surprise me. Reading this book I finally understood what stories may fascinate me so much so nothing would matter. It must be a story to love trough historical background, with nobility and bravery, self-sacrifice and dedication. All this traits were embodied in one stately, selfless woman. Such appeared to be the princess of the last free village of empire of Anahuac. Proud, but tender and subtle. She had became the wife and mother, and still nothing could shake her readiness to die for freedom and her honor. I saw fearless people, they would choose fight and unpreventable death rather than to live in slavery. Hard to say, but there's nothing more important than life, in modern society. So as wild otomi tribe I am more fond of.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Perry Whitford

    Typically action-packed yet creaky adventure story from the popular and prolific Victorian purveyor of buckled swashes. This time around Haggard takes us to exotic 16th century Anahuac - the Aztec name for Mexico - via Seville and the not-so-exotic Norfolk, England. Thomas Winfield is out narrator and adventurer, having sworn an oath to kill the man who murdered his mother, the fiendish Spaniard Juan de Garcia. He arrives in Mexico a full year before Cortez himself and ends up fighting on the sid Typically action-packed yet creaky adventure story from the popular and prolific Victorian purveyor of buckled swashes. This time around Haggard takes us to exotic 16th century Anahuac - the Aztec name for Mexico - via Seville and the not-so-exotic Norfolk, England. Thomas Winfield is out narrator and adventurer, having sworn an oath to kill the man who murdered his mother, the fiendish Spaniard Juan de Garcia. He arrives in Mexico a full year before Cortez himself and ends up fighting on the side of the Aztecs. He doesn't approve of their killing and eating people, but he does approve of Montezuma's beautiful daughter, Otomie. Sword fights, shipwreck, starvation and, of course, human sacrifice, are just a few of the scrapes he gets into along the way. Cameos for both Montezuma and Cortez enliven a plot which largely follows the recorded history of Spain's conquest of the Aztec nation. As a narrator Thomas Winfield willingly admits that 'pen and ink were tools I had no skill in', and he may well have been talking of Haggard himself to some extent, considering the author's customarily stilted dialogue and stuffy prose. He can rip a good yarn though, which is why his name endures. Montezuma's Daughter was roughly as good and as bad as other, similar stories of his I have read. If anything, perhaps it was a touch long. He's H. Rider Haggard after all, not Homer; his style doesn't befit anything on an epic scale.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Ove Bepari

    The first book I read that made me a fan of the 'adventure' genre. I'd been taught believing "vengeance" is not a good thing but this book, oh dear, took vengeance to a great new level, making it a life long journey with slight thrills here and there, seas, fights and what not. If I ever end up leaving my home for any kind of adventure later, this book will be responsible and thanks to people who recommended me this book. The first book I read that made me a fan of the 'adventure' genre. I'd been taught believing "vengeance" is not a good thing but this book, oh dear, took vengeance to a great new level, making it a life long journey with slight thrills here and there, seas, fights and what not. If I ever end up leaving my home for any kind of adventure later, this book will be responsible and thanks to people who recommended me this book.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Bonnie

    I went on a cruise to the Mexican riviera with my family over Thanksgiving and wanted an entertaining read set in that country. It filled the bill. It kept my interest in spite of being put down and resumed often and not read for sustained periods, the sort of book that one needs on vacations with a lot of interaction with other people. The story is exciting and interesting.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Lynette

    Very interesting. The time period is eye-opening. How is it the Aztecs are savages. He thinks his is a much nobler act: revenge. Hers is demonic and savage: sacrificing those who killed her people. Other than cultural what is the difference? We condemn what we don't understand or is different from the way we do things. Not many things change from one time period to the next. Very interesting. The time period is eye-opening. How is it the Aztecs are savages. He thinks his is a much nobler act: revenge. Hers is demonic and savage: sacrificing those who killed her people. Other than cultural what is the difference? We condemn what we don't understand or is different from the way we do things. Not many things change from one time period to the next.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Kristine

    Well, what can I say. This was an adventure and I'm sure men ate it up for that reason and women for the romance. I have to say, the Aztec's had a very strong concept of British grammar, which made me snicker at times. I have not read much about this time in history but am curious to find more now. To me it seems to be a male version of Jane Austen stories. Worth the read. Well, what can I say. This was an adventure and I'm sure men ate it up for that reason and women for the romance. I have to say, the Aztec's had a very strong concept of British grammar, which made me snicker at times. I have not read much about this time in history but am curious to find more now. To me it seems to be a male version of Jane Austen stories. Worth the read.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Janith Pathirage

    I was so disappointed. Had very high expectations on this book when I was reading the first 100 pages and it seemed to be a good old fashion revenge story but the focus was completely lost when the main character mingled with the Incas. And after that, it became a very unrealistic story with boring tribal warfare and cheesy dialogs. And the ending was so terrible

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