Survey of selected Jennings works
- Aztec -- the life story of Mixtli, an Aztec living through the time of the conquistadores. He is an everyman, growing from humble beginnings, having distinguished careers as a warrior, scribe, wandering merchant, and inadvertent explorer.
- Aztec Autumn -- Mixtli's illegitimate son, who attempts a revolution against the Spanish invaders.
- Spangle -- an 18th century circus and the people who take it from a tiny "mud show" into one of the premier circuses of the time. Filled with fascinating detail about the reality of circus life of the time (contortionists die young, strongmen are made not born, etc). My favorite of his books.
- The Journeyer -- The complete story of Marco Polo, leaving out no detail, from his family's rise to prominence through saffron, to his life in China and back again. There is a subplot dealing with Hebrew mysticism, the appearance and reappearance of a Righteous Man who nudges Polo when he's in a bind. Reminiscent of the Native Guide from Samuel Clemens's Innocents Abroad.
- Raptor -- a hermaphrodite becomes a vital unofficial part of the Gothic Empire that ruled Europe after the Romans. You know, the sophisticated civilization that our history teachers dismissed as barbarians and so didn't bother to teach us anything important about.
After Jenning's death, the poorly-informed decision was made to recruit ghostwriters and publish books under his byline from his notes. This was a very bad idea. The new novels totally lack the charm, heart, and affection that characterised Jennings. They are so awful that the ghostwriters are completely uncredited. Aztec Blood
is one such -- avoid at all costs.