Sara Rosario Gonzáles is a restorer of rare books and manuscripts at the Getty Museum in Los Angeles. When Sara restores a sixteenth-century manuscript about an Aztec princess enslaved by Cortés and sent to Europe to entertain the pope and Emperor Charles V, she doesn't realize the power of the tale she's about to immerse herself into.
The princess, we find, is determined to avenge the slaughter of her people, and Sara is determined to prove that the book, which caused scandal when first published, was written by the Aztec princess herself, and not the European monk reputed to have penned it.
Entwined within Sara's fascination of the manuscript is Sara's own life: the frustration over her inability to commit to Karl, the man who has loved her since high school; the haunting wisdom of her departed mother; and the stability of a father who sees the world in a way Sara does not, both pragmatically and unyieldingly.
The Conquest is a beautifully written novel that offers both hope that true love does exist and that history, in all its complexity, is what drives us all toward tomorrow.