Aztec Blood by Gary Jennings (paperback)
The Aztec people have been conquered and a bloody revolt of the Indians put down. The former Aztec Empire is now a colony called New Spain in which the Indians are enslaved to great estates that are actually feudal domains. The Spanish lords rule as kings, treating Indian men as work animals and Indian women as their personal property. In this colourful and exciting era of swords and cloaks, upheaval and revolution, a young beggar boy, in whose blood runs that of both Spanish and Aztec royalty, must claim his birthright. From the torrid streets of the City of the Dead along the Veracruz Coast to the ageless glory of Seville in Old Spain, Cristo the Bastard connives, fights, and loves as he seeks the truthwithout knowing that he will be the founder of a proud new people. As we follow the loves and adventures of Cristo and experience the colorful splendor and barbarism of the era, a vanished culture is brought to life in all its magnificence.