Title: Arrows of Fire
Author: Marlen Suyapa Bodden
Genre: Historical Fiction
Length: 343 pages
Publisher: Roatan Hall Press, LLC
Publish Date: October 14, 2019
Setting: Aztec Empire
Rape, Sexual Abuse, Death, Violence, Religious Discrimination
Disclaimer: I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you to Netgalley for this free copy. All quotes in this review are taken from the Advanced Reader Copy and may change in final publication.
Honestly this one was a hard one for me to read, and that was really because it felt like I was reading a textbook. I already have issues reading textbooks for school – seriously how was I ever a good student is still a mystery to me – and when I saw the blurb for this one on Netgalley, I was hoping that it was going to be… I guess different from what I got.
One of the comments that I’ve heard from other reviews that I personally agreed with was the reasoning for including Chapter 2 in the novel. It didn’t follow our main character’s point of view, and honestly I felt like it was a totally separate short story from what the rest of the novel was about. That was also the chapter that felt the most like I was reading a textbook that tried to give some sort of human aspect to the history, but didn’t.
I will say that I can see how much research that Bodden did for this novel, and that’s probably why it felt like I was reading a textbook. It was an odd feeling if I’m quite honest, because while we hear about this book from Flower’s point of view, it still felt like she was just spitting out facts. I didn’t really get any emotion from it, and I honestly couldn’t tell if Flower really felt anything about what was happening to her or what she was experiencing, or if she was just a spectator. Which she shouldn’t have been just a spectator, since she was going to be the sacrifice for Moctezoma.
It personally wasn’t for me, but I think those that are interested in non-fiction novels about this time period may find it interesting, even though it’s technically a historical fiction novel.