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Literature / El Conquistador

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El Conquistador (''The Conqueror'', in Spanish) is a novel from the awarded Argentinian writer Federico Andahazi, an inversion of the common topic of the Discovery of America. Here, a brave and bold Aztec explorer wants to discover the lands beyond the seas, in an attempt to find the mythic city of Aztlán to redeem his people, whom he sees as living in an overly brutal and rigid society. Off course, he stumbles his way to Europe in the Middle Ages.

He visited Spain and sees the "barbarians", dirty and smelly, very eager to sacrifice people in the pire to his dead god, and finds out that they believe him to be a Chinese or Japanese ambassador, a position that he takes advantage of (China is believed in the novel to have the vastest army in the world). One Japanese girl notices the lie, but being a sex slave freed by him, she became the great love of his life. Here he finds Christopher Columbus, and recognizes him as an equal, and lives a series of adventures prior to his return to Tenochtitlán.


  • Alpha Bitch: Eheca, at a certain point, but also he is a Jerk Jock
  • Blue-and-Orange Morality: Played with. Certainly, Tepec is closer to occidental values than his mates.
  • Bold Explorer: Quetza is the discoverer of Europe, after all.
  • The Captain: Again, Quetza.
  • The Cassandra: Quetza, when he came back to Mexico.
  • Cassandra Truth: the existance of Europe and the urgency to build a massive invasion army against their menace isn't believed by his pairs.
  • The Chosen One: Quetza, obviously; Even the second chapter is named "El elegido", that is spanish for The Chosen One.
  • The City: Various examples. Tenochtitlán, the capital of the Mexica empire. Also Beijing, and Madrid.
  • Deadly Training Area: The Calmécac
  • Downer Ending: finally, no one believes in the story of Quetza.
  • Drill Sergeant Nasty: every teacher at the Academy.
  • The Empire: Three of them: the Mexica empire, the Spanish Empire, and the Chinese empire.
  • The Emperor: Several. Axayácatl is the emperor who agrees to save the life of Quetza, then Tízoc, who sees the Calmécac first training battle, and then a few more.
  • The Fundamentalist: many of them, specially the High Priests.
  • God-Emperor: The Aztec emperors are seen as this.
  • God Is Evil: At least, some of them. But Tepec thinks that the children must be guarded and protected from the Gods.
  • Human Sacrifice: Hell, we are talking about Aztecs, aren't we? But also the execution of heretics of the Inquisition and the Crucifixion are seen as this.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: The Aztec people, when they go to the sacrifices. Tepec doesn't approve this, also.
  • Jerk Jock: Eheca, later on.
  • Mayincatec: Cautiously averted. Andahazi is well known by his thorough investigation prior to the confection of a novel. The main characters are clearly Aztec people, even from Tenochtitlán
  • The Mentor: Tepec. He saves Quetza of being sacrificed in the Temple, and he is a wise and intellectual teacher, a sage whom achieved his position in the Elders Council by his own sapience, not by his age or connections. He is a tutor of the Golden Age, as he misses the Toltec wisdom over the Aztec warmongery.
  • Ninja: Sort of: the Aztec warriors are cunning, fast and decieving. They take down an entire castle before being even being noticed.
  • Rock Beats Laser: The Aztec "primitive" macanas with Obsidian edges cut through the best Toledan steel swords.