Amazing story! You could not make this up-- no one would believe it as fiction! MacQuarrie's book reads like an energetic novel of a small band of conquistadors conquering an army of thousands. The author deftly builds historical context within a framework of intrigue, betrayal and sheer luck. Learning history could never be more exciting!
Starts off a bit slow. I actually found it pretty tedious to begin with but it wasn't long before I was hooked and couldn't wait to hear more.
I would not listen to this story again because it is very descriptive and lengthy. I often was ready for the story to develop. The details were great though I could see many people really liking this book.
More emphasis could have been made on the more important parts the narrator seem to drag on in the details of the book.
Overall this is a wonderful story worthy of a movie !!!! I think more people should learn about the Incas.
A seeker of wisdom, a theorist of husbandry, a traveler of distant lands - a bit eclectic...
It may be enough to say that, I began this book with a keen interest in Inca lore – and finished fascinated by it…The primary purpose of this book is to describe the clash of two great peoples, viz., the mighty Incas and the endless Conquistadores. Thus, if the listener desires in depth accounts of the times before 1492, then other books would make a better choice. However, for an overall introduction to the Inca’s, for rich descriptions of bygone wars and cultures – all written in a way to present complex material for the ease and enjoyment of laymen - the listener would do well to delay purchase no longer…
Fantastic material rendered dreary by somnolent narration, repetition of material, and unsupported fictional interpretations about what "no doubt" happened. "No doubt" becomes a code phrase for "wild guess".
Just how was it so easy for the Spanish to so overwhelmingly dominate the battlefield? Sure, they had horses and armor, but scores or a few hundred Spaniards against literally thousands of their Incan opponents and they weren't overwhelmed like spiders by army ants? I don't think we will ever know the real answers, but the important military aspects are glossed over, and there are not even any particularly good guesses as to why the "brilliant" Peruvian generals were such twits.
The amazing villainies of the Conquistadors are described baldly and boringly indeed. You have to rely on your own imagination to flesh out this tale and bring it to life, for you will find little enough juice in the narrative.
Historians have little to go on, but the guesses presented here are unconvincing and uninteresting.
Tell us about yourself!
not a real page turner but well written and easy to follow and understand how this very interesting part of history unfolded. It helps to have visited the sites in Peru. I wish I had had it in hand at the time of the visit.
I enjoy listening to history books but do so as a layman rather than as an academic. Within that context I would say that this was a successful book. It held my interest to the end while informing me of the basic history of the Inca Empire & the early conquest of what is now Peru. I could not help but side with the natives against the arrogant, selfish, lying, immoral, greedy hypocrites from Spain. The last Inca's death bed confession focused my attention on one glaring weakness in the book. What was the real nature of the religious & daily life of the Incas? They are portrayed in an idyllic way which is common to descriptions of American natives prior to the arrival of Europeans. I personally am very skeptical that the "Christians" were all bad & the aboriginals were basically good. One truth seems to show through in the Incas, the Spaniards & the latter day explorers was selfish self interest.
The author has an amazing command over language. MacQuarrie's flowing narrative spurs the brave conquistadors whose high hopes, blood lust and gold fever teases the adventure in all of us.