Author: Laura Esquivel
Translator: Ernesto Mestre-Reed
Genre: Historical Fiction
Plot: Malinalli has been a slave since she was a young girl. With the Spanish Conquistador’s arrival, the two cultures need interpreters. Malinalli is chosen to be Hernán Cortés interpreter. His ambition is great and he needs an interpreter of Malinalli’s skill to make alliances and conquer the Aztec empire. At first Malinalli, like many other’s think he’s one of the gods, Quetzalcoatl. As Malinalli follows Cortés to Tenochtilan (the Aztec capital), she realizes that Cortés isn’t all that’s been promised. Malinalli dreams of freedom, but with Cortés’ ambition, that dream is dwindling. She’s scared of what’s she’s seen and unsure of who or what to believe anymore. Will she be free from her slavery? Will she be free of what she’s seen and done?
Rating: 4.0 – a good telling of the other side of the Conquistador’s conquest
Opinion: I was a little confused at the beginning. I hadn’t thought about the fact that the Spaniards had been around for a while before Cortés set his plan in motion. The more I read the book, the more I realized that that made sense. I felt for Malinalli. She’d been betrayed over and over again her whole life. She’d seen everything she believed fall and fail over and over again. Still she kept getting back up again and continued to fight. Malinalli did what she had to do to survive. It was nice to see the other side of the Spaniard’s conquest. As is said, history is told by the victors. I enjoyed learning more about the Spanish conquest from a different perspective. This is a great book for those who love history from other perspectives.