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Monday, October 22, 2012

Did Cortés really kill all Aztecs?

sFirst a bit of history:

In the early 16th century the Spanish court ordered the conquest of the Aztec Empire, as one of the most significant events in the colonization of the Americas.
The invasion began in February 1519, when Hernan Cortés landed in Mexico, and was declared victorious in August 1521, when a coalition army of Spanish conquistadores and Tlaxcalan warriors led by their chief Xicotencatl captured Tenochtitlan, the capital of the Aztec Empire.
The capture of this capital was preceded by eight months of battles and intrigue. Cortés allied with a number of rivals to the Aztecs (among which the Totonacs and the Tlaxcaltecas). Cortés arrived in Tenochtitlan in 1519 and took up residence there. After an Aztec attack on Nautlan, a city on the coast, which cost the lives of several Spaniards, Cortés took the emperor, Montezuma, prisoner and ruled through him for months. More treason and massacre followed, leading in the end to the fall of Tenochtitlan and the (nearly) destruction of all Aztecs.

But what if Cortés did not quite manage the latter? Just imagine some Aztec warriors and priests escaped the doomed town and fled into the jungles of the mountains? And what if they created a new Tenochtitlan there, and had a new emperor, also named Montezuma???

I always like to think of such premises as the concept of  a novel. I toyed around with this idea when I was only 16 and wrote the first draft of what was going to be my novel Maria Gonzalez, so many years later.

In this book, Maria is still a young girl when she meets her future husband, a dashing Spanish officer named Miguel Gonzalez. Shortly after their marriage, Miguel is ordered to travel to New Spain (which was how Mexico was named then) and take up command of a regiment there. Maria is allowed to accompany her husband to the new continent.

On the journey to Miguel's new post, they have to cross a wooded area and there their party is attacked by Aztec warriors. All the men - with the exception of a priest - are killed. Maria is spared her life because of her blond hair and blue eyes. Later on she learns this is because of an old legend, which predicts a stranger with white hair and blue eyes will visit the Aztecs in Tenochtitlan.

Maria and the priest are taken to the hidden town of Tenochtitlan, a near replica of the original town. And there she is told she is to become the wife of the ruler, Montezuma... She will be named Daugther of the Sun, and her crown is one of feathers.

Yet, this is only the beginning of the story. Maria and Montezuma will learn to respect each other, and they even become the proud parents of a little son. But treason is always nearby, and the location of the town is given away. The Spanish army takes siege and also this Tenochtitlan will fall.

Maria must deal with the deathh of her second husband but most of all she needs to keep alive. She is helped by a Spanish diplomant, Don Felipe, who takes pity on her and thus offers marriage so she can escape Mexico.

Travelling back to Spain with her third husband, the ship is attached by English privateers under the command of Michael Fenwick, one of Queen Elizabeth's favorites. Michael soon discovers the true treasure he's captured: the fiery female Maria.

And Maria also feels the passion... Yet it will take more adventures, more treason and even murder before she will be able to fall into Michael's arms.

If you are into such stories, you must read Maria Gonzalez (4,64 $ with Amazon).

It is not a traditional romance, but it contains enough romantic scenes to pleasure everyone, and also contains a lot of action and adventure.

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