Home » Malinalli of the Fifth Sun: The Slave Girl Who Changed the Fate of Mexico and Spain by Helen Gordon
Malinalli of the Fifth Sun: The Slave Girl Who Changed the Fate of Mexico and Spain Helen Gordon

Malinalli of the Fifth Sun: The Slave Girl Who Changed the Fate of Mexico and Spain

Helen Gordon

Published
ISBN : 9781462064939
Paperback
672 pages
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 About the Book 

The words of her father echo in a young girls head: Never want what you can never have. Born on the day of the Mexican Goddess of Grass, Malinalli, she takes that name until 1519 when she begins her new Christian life as Marina, one of twenty slavesMoreThe words of her father echo in a young girls head: Never want what you can never have. Born on the day of the Mexican Goddess of Grass, Malinalli, she takes that name until 1519 when she begins her new Christian life as Marina, one of twenty slaves given to Conquistador Hernan Cortes after he defeats the natives of Tabasco.Having been sold into slavery by a wicked stepfather, Malinalli has learned Mayan as well as her native tongue Nahuatl. When Cortes discovers she can speak two languages, he makes her his interpreter and keeps her constantly at his side. His soldiers admire her and give her the respectful title of Don a Marina (Lady Marina). Later, as she learns Spanish and becomes trilingual, she helps Cortes form alliances among Nahuatl speakers who hate Moctezuma II, a tyrant who has waged wars on neighboring tribes to obtain captives for human sacrifice.Cortes and his coalition of Spanish conquistadors and Tlaxcalan warriors lead a fierce attack upon the Aztec empire, conquer Moctezuma II, and thus change the fate of Mexico and Spain forever. Although Cortes comes to love Marina, and she brings out his best qualities, he allows her to marry a hidalgo lover for her future protection. Yet Cortes and Malinalli (also called La Malinche) become a team that rebuilds a devastated nation, shapes its Christian destiny, and leaves a proud legacy for two nations that enriched each other even as they tried to destroy each other.