You Dreamed of Empires: A Novel
From the visionary author of Sudden Death, a hallucinatory, revelatory, colonial revenge story.
One morning in 1519, conquistador Hernán Cortés entered the city of Tenochtitlan – today's Mexico City. Later that day, he would meet the emperor Moctezuma in a collision of two worlds, two empires, two languages, two possible futures.
Cortés was accompanied by his nine captains, his troops, and his two translators: Friar Aguilar, a taciturn, former slave, and Malinalli, a strategic, former princess. Greeted at a ceremonial welcome meal by the steely princess Atotoxli, sister and wife of Moctezuma, the Spanish nearly bungle their entrance to the city. As they await their meeting with Moctezuma – who is at a political, spiritual, and physical crossroads, and relies on hallucinogens to get himself through the day and in quest for any kind of answer from the gods – the Spanish are ensconced in the labyrinthine palace. Soon, one of Cortés’s captains, Jazmín Caldera, overwhelmed by the grandeur of the city, begins to question the ease with which they were welcomed into the city, and wonders at the risks of getting out alive, much less conquering the empire.
You Dreamed of Empires brings to life Tenochtitlan at its height, and reimagines its destiny. The incomparably original Alvaro Enrigue sets afire the moment of conquest and turns it into a moment of revolution, a restitutive, fantastical counter-attack, in a novel so electric and so unique that it feels like a dream.
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