cover image Aztec Fire

Aztec Fire

Gary Jennings, Junius Podrug, Robert Gleason. Forge, $25.95 (400pp) ISBN 978-0-7653-1703-2

The late popular adventure novelist Jennings's Aztec series is revived by editor Gleason and writer Podrug in this lengthy, meandering novel. Mexico is under repressive Spanish rule, and rebellion smolders everywhere. Juan Rios, a Toltec Indian boy taught to make gunpowder and repair weapons for the rebels, is captured by soldiers and sold to a loyalist gunsmith. Juan toils for the Spanish while secretly supplying the rebels with guns and ammo until he eventually escapes with his rebel propagandist love, Maria. They are separated during their flight, and Juan is launched on a preposterous two-year round-the-world voyage of cliffhanging escapes. He eventually returns to Mexico and becomes involved in a treacherous plot as he searches for Maria. Gory battles, sex and a vivid setting add some fun to this overlong, poorly executed tale.