When I came across this tome in a thrift store for a quarter it reminded me I’d read and enjoyed Aztec, by Jennings sometime in the 1990s and enjoyed. So I snagged it for a quarter and got a read I’d be hard pressed to sell for less than a couple of bucks .
Jennings does a workman-like job of creating strong characters and a seductive plot involving a personal grudge leading to the Mixton War between the tribes of Mexico and the Spaniards. While Coronado was battling his way around New Mexico searching for the Seven Cities of Cibola, an Aztlan nobleman leading a consortium of tribes and slaves with the intention of driving all whites out of Mexico briefly spilled a lot of Spanish blood.
The primary character, Tenamaxtli, encounters Cabeza de Vaca, Estevan, and Frey Marcos de Niza in various wanderings through the plot, and visits villages throughout northern Mexico for a probably realistic-enough look at conditions and cultures. There’s also an underlying flow of attitudes and behavior portrayed in the interactions of the tribes among themselves, the Spanish treatment of slaves, both native and imported, and the policies of the Church toward the indigents.
All in all a good read. If I had it to do over, though, I think I’d have searched out Aztec and given it a re-read before pursuing this one.