The year is 2020. In a fit of ill-advised independence, the Mexican president has incurred the double wrath of the United States by calling for the removal of US troops from Columbia and demanding higher prices for Mexico's oil. Unfortunately for him, the country's satellite communications system is controlled through a shell company in Miami. Unsurprisingly, the system goes down. At a stroke Mexico is deprived of phone, fax and email. In a country where politicians never put anything in writing, letters are now the only way to communicate, leaving the private lives and true feelings of all brutally exposed. Especially regarding the hot topic of the day: Who will be the next president, the next to ascent the Eagle's Throne? As the characters jockey for position in the race to identify and ally themselves to the new president, the letters fly ever faster, wittier and more mendacious. Who will it be? Glamorous Maria del Rosario's protege and would-be lover, the handsome Nicolas Valdivia? Her bitter rival, the balding satyr Tacito de la Canal? Or the 'unsavoury' ex-president Cesar Leon? How will the bets be placed when the punters include some of the runners? And who has the most to lose? These and many other questions must be answered before the last letter is sent. The Eagle's Throne is a novel of high artifice, a story that mixes concealed emotions and dark secrets with political intrigue to make Machiavelli blush. Carlos Fuentes has never written better.