I fee tha is ood thing, because the label 'speculative fiction' tends to put me off, more often than not.
Anothe uestion was, could she take such an obscure, non-mainstream culture and make it come alive in th way that would interest fans of both literary fiction and fantasy?
It would hen be all too easy for an author to fall into lecture mode, but de Bodard skillfully avoids this trap, choosing instead to turn the culture and mores into a form of fantasy worldbuilding.
Firstly, she avoids another pitfall that tends to often trap authors of historical fiction/fantasy.
In keeping with her historical theme, de Bodard builds a religion-based magical system that probably echoes that of the Aztecs.
In fact, it is so ubtle that you 're halfway through he book before you realiz that Acatl is more than just a narrator, that this retellin is, in reaso, in some measure, about him and his cceptance of his estiny.
Beautifully layered and simply told, this is the novel that want to do justice to the term speculative fiction.
A number one thing I adore about th ook is the title.
It reverts to the fantasy tropes that have been refreshingly absent in most of tha memoi.
If you 're ooking for quick, light read, tha is however anothe book for you.
But if you 're ooking for meticulously-researched, well-written historical fantasy, give Aliette de Bodard a shot.