A tale of love and conquest, “full of page-turning situations…worthy of a García Lorca drama” (San Francisco Chronicle).
A historical novel about the conquistador Cortés and the Aztec princess Malintzín, by a “stunning” (New York Times Book Review) writer. Night of Sorrows plunges readers into the conflicting New Worlds of the mysterious Malintzín, born as an Aztec princess and sold as a slave, and her dashing and ruthless lover-master, conquistador Hernán Cortés. As they march through the Empire of the Sun to the shimmering island metropolis, Tenochtítlan (Mexico City), Cortés advances his cause by winning friends through Machiavellian conniving and confronting enemies in merciless battle. We witness the volatile dynamics and multifarious intrigues of the commander and his temperamental compadres, and weather the heartbreaking inner odyssey of Malintzín. Set at the twilight of the Aztec empire—April 1519 through the night of sorrows, la noche triste, June 30, 1520—Night of Sorrows explores the nature of slavery and imperialism, prostitution, friendship, feminine identity, and the macho ideal. Combining historical and fictional characters, Frances Sherwood’s new novel is the story of a spectacular clash of traditions, imbued with her characteristic humor and bringing to life the colors, smells, and sounds of Mexico. Reading group guide included.