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The Goldsmith's Daughter Kindle Edition
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Itacate loves her brother, Mitotiqui, dearly, but cannot help but feel resentment as their paths diverge in life - his to education and a life blessed by the gods, and hers to a life of drudgery, chained to a loom and pounding maize, with no hope for anything better.
One day, their father, a goldsmith, recognizes Itacate's eye for working with stones and fine metal, and Itacate unwittingly replaces her brother as her father's assistant, incurring his jealousy. While they must keep Itacate's involvement in her father's workshop a secret, since it is forbidden for a woman to work with gold, the gods appear displeased, for a fire and then a flood attack their city.
Soon after, rumors begin circulating that strangers have appeared in the land of the Maya, and they are traveling towards Tenochtitlán. Itacate and her father, commissioned by the great leader, Montezuma, to work in the palace, soon find themselves involved firsthand when the Spanish invade the inner court of Montezuma's palace. With the destruction, war, and loss that inevitably befall the entire Aztec empire, Itacate wonders if the prediction made at the time of her birth was true, or if something akin to peace may indeed be found in her future.
Although the author took much liberty regarding the sequence and particulars of these ancient events, I found myself captivated by her treatment of this historical period. Seeing the world through the eyes of a young Aztec woman, one of the silent majority who have left little mark on historical records, brings a fresh view to the everyday life of the citizens of this once great empire.
Reviewed by: Allison Fraclose
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