In the Aztec city of Tenochtitlan people live in fear of the gods.
Can Itacate defy them and escape her destiny?
About THE GOLDSMITH' DAUGHTER Tanya Landman writes:
"Montezuma and Cortes. Two leaders. Two civilisations. Two faiths. A devastating collision of cultures. When I read an article saying that there was little written on the Aztecs I had one of those heart-thudding-palms-tingling moments. I knew I’d found the setting for my next book.
Blood and gold: those were the words that summed up the Aztecs for me before I wrote The Goldsmith’s Daughter. But as soon as I started to find out more about Tenochtitlan, the city at the heart of Montezuma’s empire, the more fascinated I became by Aztec culture. A floating city; exquisite golden artefacts; extraordinary architecture; a great civilisation.
I was intrigued about this paradoxical society – so well ordered, so cultured, and yet so cruel - where the letting of blood was vital to nourish the Sun; where the religious calendar dictated every action and farmers couldn’t plant their crops until they had the priests’ permission; where everything was pre-ordained by the gods and nothing happened by chance.
How did it feel to live in perpetual fear of the Sun failing to rise? To worship such fearsome deities? To have your destiny decided by the priests at the moment of your birth?
If you were born under an ill-starred sky would you accept your fate meekly? Or would you try to step aside?
And if you did, what might the gods do to you?
Itacate – the ill-omened half of a pair of twins – took shape in my head and began answering my questions. Her spirit and fire held me captivated for months while I wrote her story.
The Goldsmith’s Daughter is thrilling and shocking and sometimes grim, but to walk beside Itacate and witness her final triumph is a journey well worth taking."
* THE GOLDSMITH'S DAUGHTER was nominated for the 2008 Guardian Children's fiction prize, longlisted for the 2009 Carnegie Medal and shortlisted for the 2008 Berkshire Book Award.