Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
The Demon of the Air

The Demon of the Air

An Aztec Mystery

Aztec Mysteries (Volume 1)

Simon Levack

Minotaur Books




"Hooked me in five pages. The main character is fascinatingly complex and unusual."
---Conn Iggulden, author of The Field of Swords

Mexico, 1517.

Emperor Montezuma rules the known world. Daily canoes and trains of sweating bearers carry tribute to his island capital, Mexico-Tenochtitlán, while squadrons of ruthless warriors enforce his will. Gold, silver, cotton, jewels, and precious feathers change hands in his markets. The temples run with the blood of human sacrifices.

All seems well, but Montezuma is troubled. Mysterious strangers have appeared in the East. Are they men or gods? Visions and rumors disturb his dreams. The soothsayers he turns to for guidance give him only enigmatic answers, and he knows he cannot trust his advisers---especially his chief minister, the unscrupulous Lord Feathered in Black.

Yaotl, the chief minister's slave, is troubled, too. He was ordered to escort a sacrificial victim up the steps of the Great Pyramid, but the victim ran amok, uttering a bizarre and sinister prophecy and leaping to his death before the War-God's priests could cut out his heart. Then Yaotl learns that the emperor's soothsayers have vanished.

The emperor senses a connection between these two events and orders Yaotl to find it---on pain of death if he fails. But it soon becomes clear that whatever the connection is, Yaotl's own master will stop at nothing---including murder---to keep it secret.

To get to the truth will take all Yaotl's wits and will to survive. It will lead him into confrontations with the peril destined to overwhelm the whole Aztec world and with a monster from his own past - and into the hands of a sadistic killer.


Demon of the Air

Blood lay on the steps near the summit of the Great Pyramid, the afternoon's flowing over the morning's, the fresh over the dry. My bare foot struck it with a wet slap and...


Praise for The Demon of the Air

“Loved the black humor of the sacrifice. The main character was fascinatingly complex and unusual---I was very pleased to know there’s more of Yaotl to come.” —Conn Iggulden, bestselling author of The Field of Swords

“A very exciting murder mystery mixed with a mordant sense of humor and a firm grasp of the history and culture of the period. A marvelous read.” —Paul Doherty, author of the Brother Athelstan series

“The adventure proves gripping and always surprising, and uses its historical background to perfection. A most rewarding read.” —Maxim Jakubowski , The Guardian

Reviews from Goodreads

About the author

Simon Levack

SIMON LEVACK grew up in a small town in England. He was trained in the legal profession but now writes full-time. He has had a long-standing interest in Mesoamerican history, especially the Aztecs, triggered by reading Inga Clendinnen's book Aztecs: An Interpretation. He lives in London with his wife and son and is working on his next book, Shadow of the Lords.

Simon Levack

Simon Levack



    Latest on Facebook


    From the Publisher

    Minotaur Books

    Latest on Facebook