The saga of Cortés, Montezuma, and the Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire has been chronicled repeatedly, and with justification, since it is one of the seminal events in world history. There is probably no new information on the conquest left to uncover, but it is a thrilling, moving, and tragic story well worth retelling. Levy is not a professional historian, but he is a fine writer who knows the material, and he is wise enough to allow the pure excitement and drama of the story to unfold naturally. At the center of the tale, of course, are the two protagonists. Cortés is viewed as an intriguing combination of ruthless ambition, religious piety, and surprising tenderness. Montezuma, also deeply religious, was less a man of action than Cortés, and his contemplative nature probably sealed his doom. As Levy illustrates, this was also an earthshaking clash of civilizations that is still working itself out five centuries later. This is a superb work of popular history, ideal for general readers.
— Jay Freeman—Booklist