With this post (first after the summer break), I’d love to introduce Phil Dickinson, a fellow author of fiction set in the Aztec times. His first book, “New Fire” is out and is a thrilling read.
Check out this snippet from the upcoming sequel:
The Orizaba warrior fell clumsily across the granite block and Leaping Fire swept his sword up on high to finish him off. The crowd leapt to their feet baying for blood, but at that moment, the prisoner kicked Leaping Fire in the stomach and doubled him up, then followed with a blow to the side of Leaping Fire’s head. The Mexica lurched sideways and suddenly the spectators all jumped to their feet again with a collective gasp. The strike hadn’t been very powerful but Leaping Fire was clearly dazed and crucially, he was still in range of his opponent. The combatant from Orizaba wasted no time. He rolled from the platform and swung his club backhanded, catching the Jaguar Knight full in the face. The crunching of bone was audible through the shrieking of the crowd.
Shield of Gold saw Two Sign twitch an eyebrow at Last Medicine. It was a look that said “What did I tell you?”
The local man snatched up his opponent’s sword and placed it on the stone behind him then, reaching out to the extent that his tether allowed, he grabbed the knight’s leg and dragged him closer before he could crawl out of reach. All around Shield of Gold, the spectators were howling and stamping their feet. Their horror now turned to adulation for the underdog as they bayed for the blood of their own champion. Confused, Leaping Fire tried to rise, when the best option would have been to roll or scramble away. His face was a ruined, bloody mess. His nose had almost been ripped off and hung to one side by a flap of skin.
The man from Orizaba recovered the sword and assumed the killing stance. Jaguar could see why this man had been chosen for the last combat of the day. He put his hand to his mouth and joined in the whooping.
‘Dispatch him! Dispatch him!’ called the excited crowed.
Shield of Gold glanced up to his left, towards the small area reserved for Orizaba nobility and high-ranking officials who had, under oath, agreed to bow to Moctezuma’s rule. There were about three dozen and most of them looked as though they were going to hurt themselves, so great was their frenzy at their hero’s success.
The triumphant warrior swung the sword down, simultaneously pulling his arm back in one, expertly fluid motion and the razor-edged shards of obsidian severed Leaping Fire’s head and half of his shoulder from his body. The noise in the small arena was deafening and predictably, several scuffles broke out as the more optimistic gamblers tried to claim their winnings from disgruntled and disbelieving neighbours. The four friends sat down again.
‘It looks like I owe you some cocoa beans,’ said Last Medicine ruefully when the noise had settled down.
You can find “New Fire” on Amazon here. Check it out, I read it and enjoyed it a great deal.