You Dreamed of Empires

You Dreamed of Empires by Álvaro Enrigue is a wildly original novel that mixes gritty realistic details with alternate history, satire, and farce. Enrigue’s novel reimagines the conquest of the Aztec capital Tenochtitlán in 1519 by Spanish conquistadors, focusing on the individuals in the midst of this brutal clash of empires. One on side, there’s the enigmatic Aztec princess Atotoxli, consort to the emperor Moctezuma, who is himself mercurial and reliant on psychedelics. On the other, there’s Jazmín Caldera, one of the nine Spanish captains accompanying Hernan Cortes into the city, who is overawed and slightly suspicious of their grand welcome into the New World. A fascinating take on a critical moment in history.