On a rainy afternoon in 1864, a gunman enters a Mexico City restaurant armed with an antiquated English flintlock pistol. His purpose: to assassinate a conservative army officer named General Leonardo Márquez.
The plan goes hopelessly awry, and it is left to the gunman’s lifelong friend, a bookish young Mexican named Diego Serrano, to pick up the pieces—if he can.
But Mexico is in turmoil, bankrupt and riven by war, with its liberal president, Benito Juárez, in northern exile and an Austrian noble on a precarious throne. In these powder keg circumstances, the bungled assassination sets off an explosive chain reaction: a drama of loyalty and deceit, honour and dishonour, that unfolds against a backdrop of imperial splendour and brutal conflict. Diego is eventually forced to make an irreversible choice, and his decision has seismic consequences for him and his nation.
Seamlessly blending history and invention, The Empire of Yearning is an irresistible sequel to The Dark Virgin, and takes its readers on a breakneck ride toward a stunning finale.