Reviewed for 2009, High School

The Goldsmith

Itacate is born under an ill favored sky, but she has a knack for goldsmithing, so she becomes her father's secret apprentice. Under the reign of the great Emperor Montezuma, the crumbling Aztec Empire faces extinction when Spanish conquistadors arrive. Itacate falls in love with a young Spaniard, but in a time of turmoil, the two must grapple with the consequences of faith and loyalty as time runs out for Tenochtitlán. This page-turner brings to life the final days of the Aztec empire and the beginning of the Spanish conquest of the Americas. (Candlewick, $12.23)