Conquistador Voices: Volumes 1 & 2
Kevin H. Siepel
Spruce Tree Press
PO Box 211, Angola, NY 14006
Volume 1: 9780978646622, $23.95, PB, 340pp
Volume 2: 9780978646639, $28.95, PB, 428pp www.amazon.com
Synopsis: "Conquistador Voices: The Spanish Conquest of the Americas as Recounted Largely by the Participants", by Kevin H. Siepel is a two-volume work written for the non-specialist general reader with an interest in learning about the Spanish Conquest of the Americas as drawn directly from the words of those who participated in that historic event. The story is told in five parts, each part featuring a principal actor. In volume I are described the four voyages of Christopher Columbus and the conquest of Mexico by Hernan Cortes, some details of which come to us through native accounts. Volume II opens with the voyages to Peru of Francisco Pizarro and his brothers, their seizure of the Inca empire, and the long, bloody, and self-destructive sequel to this Spanish campaign. This is followed by an account of the remarkable, years-long sojourn of Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca through the deserts of North America, as well as his subsequent mission to today's Paraguay. The final section of volume II tells the tale of Hernando de Soto's ill-starred expedition to North America, an expedition in which Soto himself lost his life. The sweep of the drama is roughly from 1490 to 1550, with the action moving from the West Indies to Mexico, then to Peru, today's southeastern US, Mexico again, Paraguay, and back to the US--and containing accounts of two desperate escapes by sea. Somewhat in the...