Author of the Month
“Five hundred years ago the old Mexican prophecy which announced the return of Quetzalcoatl came true. In an era dominated by human sacrifices and the decadence of a great culture, bearded men, white-faced, from beyond the sea, arrived to impose their law. In this fast-moving highly recommended novel, Graham Hancock masterfully reconstructs the biggest clash of civilizations ever, revealing aspects that only a genius author could unveil." Javier Sierra, New York Times bestselling author of The Secret Supper and The Lost Angel
Wild card nonfiction author Graham Hancock – infamous for his many controversial bestselling nonfiction books expounding his claim that an advanced civilisation existed during the last Ice Age and was destroyed in a global cataclysm some 13,000 years ago – has successfully turned his hand to fiction now returning with a remarkable second novel War God: Nights of the Witch, a supernatural adventure story revisiting one of the most momentous occurrences in human history, the Spanish conquest of Mexico.
Comparable to legendary historical feats like those of Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar and Genghis Khan, the Spanish conquest of Mexico took place nearly 500 years ago, between February 1519, when Hernan Cortes and his small fleet first landed on the coast of the Yucatan, and August 1521 with their final apocalyptic siege of the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan – the site of modern Mexico City. Staggeringly, the Spanish invaders were to overthrow the mighty Aztec empire and over 200,000 brutal warriors with an army of just 500 men.
Hancock describes the conquest as “a true adventure, so extraordinary, and at times so unbelievable, you literally couldn’t make it up.” And yet aided by an unsurpassed knowledge of the ancient Aztec civilisation and cosmology, an ingenious flair for fictional narrative, and a powerful imagination, the author puts the flesh on the bare facts of history to deliver an enthralling, page-turning rollercoaster ride through this portentous moment in time.
The book’s vivid authenticity and rich texture owe much to Hancock’s unique knowledge of the supernatural elements at play in this real life saga, including his firsthand experience of psychedelic plants as used by the ancient Aztec emperors for entranced communion with their gods. Hancock’s ten-year ceremonial use of the shamanic visionary brew, Ayahuasca, began as research for his last non-fiction book Supernatural (published 2005) and also informed his celebrated first novel, Entangled (published 2010). In War God, we encounter witchcraft and sorcery, visions of deities and demons, and the mythical return of Quetzalcoatl, “The Plumed Serpent”, Central America’s expelled god of peace, prophesised to come again to these lands to overthrow a wicked king and restore justice. Such paranormal forces were part of the fabric of ancient Mexico, aptly described by Nobel prize-winner J.M.G. Le Clezio as “the last magical civilisation”.
The War God story begins with the Cortes fleet setting sail from Cuba on a stormy night to pit themselves against the mighty Aztec empire, ruled by the feared and loathsome emperor Moctezuma. The voyage to “The New Lands” holds the exciting promise of gold and of fulfilling the Messianic mission of the inquisition to “bring faith to the idolatrous heathens”, fronted by a sadistic paedophile inquisitor, Father Munoz. Meanwhile, atop the Great Pyramid in the Aztec island city of Tenochtitlan, Moctezuma is busy performing human sacrifices before the temple of Huitzilpochtil (‘Hummingbird’), the war god of the Aztecs. With a downpayment of hearts and blood, Moctezuma hopes to win divine help against the imminent threat of Quetzalcoatl – who, described as white skinned and bearded - is rumoured to have arrived on nearby shores in ships “that move by themselves without paddles”.
Waiting to be sacrificed in the “fattening pens” beneath the Great Pyramid among thousands of others, are the story’s heroines - Tozi a teenage witch with magical powers, and Malinal, a beautiful courtesan and sex slave, sold to the Aztecs by her parents. Together they unite as a force of good against the ruling powers of darkness, ultimately siding with Cortes whom they take to be Quetzalcoatl, arriving, as the prophecy foretold, in ships “without paddles” and with an army complete with otherwordly beasts, part men part deer (horses) and supernatural weapons of war.
The monumental clash of civilisations that followed was to serve as a template for all subsequent European conquest and colonialism which would radically reshape the world, as Hancock notes:
“It is interesting to wonder what the world we live in today would have been like if the Spanish conquest of Mexico had never taken place, or been guided to unfold in a different way. For the pattern of genocide that Cortes set in that benighted land was followed slavishly little more than a decade later by Pizarro in Peru and ultimately became the model for the dealings of all the European powers with all the indigenous peoples they were to encounter the world over in the centuries of darkness that followed.”
While War God is a an epic tale of daring deeds, of the clash of battle and the worst excesses of male violence, it is also fundamentally the tale of two remarkable Native American women who will confront and overcome appalling physical and spiritual dangers in the face of unimaginable adversity, to convey Hancock’s positive message for the book: that the human spirit and our capacity for love can survive, and thrive, even in the worst possible circumstances and the darkest of times.
GRAHAM HANCOCK is the author of the major international bestsellers The Sign and the Seal, Fingerprints of the Gods, and Heaven's Mirror. His books have sold more than five million copies worldwide and have been translated into 27 languages. His TV appearances, including two major TV series for Channel 4 (UK) and The Learning Channel ( US) - Quest For The Lost Civilisation and Flooded Kingdoms of the Ice Age - have reached tens of millions. He is recognised as an unconventional thinker who raises controversial questions about humanity's past. Hancock recently spoke at TEDx (January 2013) on The War on Consciousness, and was voted no 55 in the Watkins list of ‘The 100 Most Spiritually influential Living People’ (February 2013). For more information visit: www.grahamhancock.com; and see background details on War God. Follow Hancock on Facebook (author and personal), Twitter, and Youtube
Stockists Info: War God: Nights of the Witch, 30th May 2013. Price £20 - ISBN 9781444734379 - Hardcover. Available Amazon UK, Amazon CA, Foyles, Waterstones and The Book Depository
With a sequel to his legendary 1995 bestseller FINGERPRINTS OF THE GODS in the pipeline for 2015, Hancock has compelling new evidence to share supporting his claim of an advanced Lost Civilisation destroyed in a global cataclysm at the end of the last Ice Age
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