The Incas: A Novel

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9780394584928: The Incas: A Novel

Cusi, a young Inca warrior, and Micay, the daughter of a chieftain, are drawn together despite the differences in their circumstances in a world turned upside down, in a saga of the final years of the powerful Inca Empire

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From Kirkus Reviews:

Peters continues his series of massive epics based on the pre- Colombian civilizations of Central and South America (The Luck of Huemac, 1981; Tikal, 1983), this time by focusing on the final 20 years of the Inca Empire before its conquest by the Spanish. Cusi Huaman is the youngest son of an Inca bureaucrat, left in the keeping of an illustrious warrior relative when his family relocates to a distant government post; Micay is the daughter of a rebellious tribal chief, seized by the Incas to begin a life of service to them as a ``chosen woman.'' Taken into Cusi's family as his sister's companion, she learns the ways of a healer, while Cusi begins to make a name for himself as a leader and resourceful warrior, and eventually they meet and marry. His successes in the field and his visions gain him a reputation as a sorcerer, as well as the favor of the Inca ruler Huanya Capac--but though he advances rapidly in position, Cusi eventually loses his status by defying the royal will in the culmination of a long, bloody war against a rebel nation. Meanwhile, he and Micay have twins, but family life is intermittent with battles against other tribes and a ravaging epidemic intervening. When the Empire crumbles in a bitter struggle for power pitting Inca against Inca, Cusi fights on, finally becoming a Lord of the realm just as it ceases to exist. Peters's customary attention to detail provides a stunning background for the saga, but even so it lacks the momentum and fire of sustained drama. Impressively steeped in Inca history and tradition, but suffering severely from a mismatch in scale between a vast pageantry and the uninspiring, conventional characters who enact it. Glittering if not gripping. -- Copyright ©1991, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

From Library Journal:

Another epic pre-Columbian saga ( The Luck of the Huemac , LJ 7/81, on the Aztecs; and Tikal , LJ 9/1/83, on the Maya) from Peters, this one focuses on the Incas' last years before the arrival of Pizzaro's conquistadors in the 1500s. The vast Inca empire stretches from the Andean peaks to the Amazonian jungle, but it is torn apart by political intrigue, greed, and petty jealousies. Peters follows the decline of the empire through Micay, captured daughter of a conquered northern chieftain, and Cusi, who at age 12 is cast off by his father to become an Inca warrior. Each undergoes a rite of passage before they meet, love, and marry. The splintering empire puts stress on their lives when Cusi is ordered from battle to battle and Micay maintains a home alone for years. The futility of war and its devastation of the innocent are as vivid as Peters's detailed portrayal of diverse characters and the land and culture. For larger fiction collections.
- Joan Hinkemeyer, Englewood P.L., Col.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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