“Never finished”Daniel wrote this review Thursday, September 5, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“I read this in preparation for an upcoming trip to Peru; a decent non-fiction book about the Spanish conquest of the Incas, and the discovery of Machu Picchu and Vilcabamba centuries later.
The first half of the book featured the Conquistadors versus the Incas - and it was difficult to decide which side to root for as both groups were dreadful. Ultimately I decided on the Incas because, after all, they were there first, and the Spaniards willingness to mass murder for gold was inconceivable. But the Incas weren't much better - a relatively small group that subjugated millions of weaker neighbors. At any rate the Spaniards were certainly impressive warriors, using their technological advantages to win battles where they were outnumbered two-hundred to one. The diseases they inadvertently brought with them were to their advantage as well.
The second part of the book covers Hiram Bingham's discovery of Machu Picchu (I thought *Turn Right at Machu Picchu* by Mark Adams was a more enjoyable read) and the kooky Gene Savoy's "discovery" of Vilcabamba - the lost final capital of the Incas. A large portion of the second half of the book is simply footnotes.”
“Amazing stories of how a few with deceit and technology can dominate millions. Reads more like a novel rather than history. Had a hard time putting it down.”Byren Innes wrote this review Monday, April 1, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“A long, but very worthwhile read. Reading this book makes me want to go hike the Inca Trail tomorrow.”Bill Abbott wrote this review Friday, March 15, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“really helped provide context before my trip to Peru.”Greg Scully wrote this review Friday, February 1, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“This was a book I had to read for class so I was surprised at how engrossed I got in this book. I kept finding myself rooting for the Incas as they battled to conquistadors...but then I would sadly remember that it wasn't a novel, the story played out long ago and I was just now hearing the details.
“As far as history books go, this was a good one. Thrilling, full of information and well-paced.
Even though you know what the end result was, you can't help but get caught up in the Inca people's struggle for survival. Yes it does portray the conquistadors as black-hearted gold-grabbers, but the author also manages to mention that there were also native people who were not as clean of soul as they could have been. Even better, it transpires that there were some Spanish men who were horrified at the treatment the native folk were meted out all over South America and attempted to persuade their countrymen to leave well enough alone.”