Feathered Serpent by Colin Falconer

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The triumphant, controversial life of the Aztec woman Malinali is one of the great and enduring legends of Mexico. A high-born Mexica heiress, she was sold into slavery as a child, and it was as a slave of the Maya that she met the Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés. To her, and many of the Mexica, Cortés, with his ?owing beard and pale skin, was Feathered Serpent, the god whose return to earth foretold the end of Montezuma’s fabled empire. The daughter of a prophet, Malinali knew her fate lay with Feathered Serpent and his invaders. To this day she is reviled as a traitor by Mexico’s native people, but is also honored as a heroine and symbolic mother of a mixed-race nation. This is her story—and the story of the Spanish conquest of Mexico, which for better or worse changed the Americas forever. In Feathered Serpent, Colin Falconer brings the Aztec empire to life in blazing color and gives voice to the incomparable Malinali, who transcended her role as Cortés’s translator and consort to become a fiery agent of history against all odds.

About Colin Falconer

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Colin Falconer is the author of When We Were Gods and three other historical novels, which have been published in many languages throughout the world. A former journalist and native of London, he now lives with his family in western Australia.
Published December 10, 2002 by Crown. 384 pages
Genres: History, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Of course, that’s thanks to the intervention of the female slave Malinali, whose father prophesied the eventual downfall of the mighty lord of the Mexican people (Motecuhzoma’s personal representatives slaughtered the old man, and her jealous mother immediately sold Malinali into slavery).

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Publishers Weekly

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As Malinali wavers in her conviction that Cortés is a god, she becomes a more interesting character, but her single-mindedness, as portrayed by Falconer, makes her seem more like a symbol than a person.

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