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The Conquest

3.32  ·  Rating Details ·  196 Ratings  ·  29 Reviews
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 t
Paperback, 320 pages
Published December 2nd 2003 by Harper Perennial (first published 2002)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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It's gone from my physical book shelves. Reading through the review that I previously wrote, there's not much to add. I thought it was a real interesting read, but most people on GR thought it was less interesting than I did. The only friend I have that has rated it gave it a 3. But hey, the female protagonist is a rare book restorer! What's not to like about that?

I thought this novel was a pretty good read, not very long, didn't bore me. Ms. Murray's work has not achieved overwhelming favor he
Jul 25, 2009 Catherine rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 15, 2010 Coco rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This fascinating novel centers around Sara Rosario Gonzales, a restorer of rare books and manuscripts at the Getty Museum in Los Angeles. When Sara is assigned to restore a 16th century manuscript about a female Aztec juggler enslaved by Cortes and sent to Europe to entertain the Pope as well as Emperor Charles V, she doesn't realize the power of the tale she's about to immerse herself into.

The juggler, we find, is determined to take revenge on the king of the empire who contributed to the slau
Howard Cincotta
Apr 23, 2012 Howard Cincotta rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction
I thought this might be another Shadow of the Wind book, and while it does feature my favorite plot device -- a mysterious manuscript -- it becomes a standard romance novel, if a little better written than most.

We have our beautiful and plucky heroine (a manuscript restorer at the Getty Museum) and our impossibly upright and gorgeous hero (Marine officer aspiring to be an astronaut) ... and the formula then plays out.

The positive: a well-written depiction of the restorer's work and the workings
Nov 13, 2016 Suzanne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: l-a
4+. Liked this very much. More later
Apr 07, 2009 Christine rated it it was amazing
I read this years before I found this Goodreads site, and this book was definitely a Good Read. I still remember the story vividly--so many amazing characters. The main character was a woman who worked as a restorer of antique books at a museum in LA, called the Getty, I think. She begins work on a text in which the writer claims to be an ancient (15th century?) Aztec woman, who learns to focus her mind and kinetically control the juggler's balls and entertain the Aztec king. She is then ...more
Fernanda Luppani
Apr 03, 2011 Fernanda Luppani rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Un libro que cuenta la historia de una restauradora de libros antiguos del Museo de Paul Getty en el sur de California, de ancestros Mexicanos e Indigenas. Dentro de esta historia, la historia del personaje principal del libro que se restaura e investiga por la restauradora. Una linda historia de amor, tragedia, iluciones, magia, y sobrevivencia. Este es el tipo de historia que me gusta leer. Un personaje solitario y dedicado a su pasion que nos cuenta de su vida con el toque del realismo magico ...more
May 29, 2014 Erica rated it it was ok
Shelves: queer
I'm not sure how I feel about The Conquest... I love books about books and the people who love them, but Sara, the rare book restorer who is the main character of this novel, is dreadfully unlikeable. Sara is on a quest to discover the mysteries behind the book she is restoring but also to win back her estranged lover, who is getting married to another woman. While I understand how a person can become totally immersed in a book and bewitched by the content in its pages, I did not find myself roo ...more
Melrose Park Library
May 27, 2009 Melrose Park Library rated it really liked it
La Conquista es una novela única que nos da la esperanza de que el amor verdadero sí existe, y que la historia, en toda su complejidad, es la que nos impulsa hacia nuestro destino. Sara Rosario Gonzáles lleva una existencia relativamente tranquila, como restauradora de libros y manuscritos antiguos en el Getty Museum de Los Ángeles. Pero cuando se encuentra ante la tarea de restaurar un manuscrito del siglo XVI sobre una princesa azteca que fue esclavizada por Cortés y enviada a Europa para ...more
Jul 08, 2013 Susan rated it liked it
Shelves: home
This is one of those books that didn't quite work for me until everything came together at the end. Not that the plot or characters weren't related or didn't make sense; I ended up really liking the story as a sum of its parts rather than the individual story lines. Sara was depressed, lonely, isolated, and a bit obsessed with her work - tough characteristics to enjoy reading in a novel. Her isolation radiated off the page and made me feel a bit unnerved. I loved the story-within-a-story, ...more
Apr 09, 2011 Jenn rated it did not like it
Shelves: novels
The premise of this book was interesting and it was on some top reading list, so I decided to read it. The beginning of the book started off ok, but then just went off in a different direction than I was prepared for after the first couple of chapters. I did like the way the author bounced back and forth between the "book" narrative the character was restoring and the actual plot.

However, the only reason why I kept ploughing through the book to the end was to congratulate myself on being able t
Izzy G
Dec 17, 2009 Izzy G rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Those looking for something off the beaten path
Shelves: ifyouhavetime
Besides being a prof at my Alma Mater (LMU Law), Yxta is like totally smart and really cute. The appeal to SOCAL Natives like myself is obvious - References to Camp Pendleton, The Getty, etc. But more than that, the novel is a solid read that keeps you hooked. The main character is a restorer of ancient books at the Getty who is determined to prove the truth behind an ancient manuscript. She becomes consumed by an ancient text she is working on and a parallel story emerges. Check it out if you ...more
Apr 19, 2016 Holly rated it really liked it
Mental note to self: Don't stay up until three in the morning finishing a book that you need to read for class. Does not matter that you completely enjoyed it. This is a terrible idea and leads to exhausting, sore legs, and drinking far too many cans of Dr Pepper in an effort to stay awake. Besides that, however, I was actually surprised by this novel and I genuinely did enjoy it a lot. I would definitely recommend it.
Mar 18, 2013 Tanya rated it really liked it
This book has two stories that weave together. One story is set in the present and the other is a fantastical story of the 1500s. It reminded me of Like Water for Chocolate in the way that the lines between real & surreal are blurred. I liked it but you have to be prepared to suspend your disbelief.
A very imaginative and sensual tale of a book restorer whose own passion comes to life while she's researching the escapades of an Aztec princess, who after being enslaved by Cortes and sent to Europe, became a powerful courtesan. A great book for historical fiction lovers.
This is the book I never knew I've always wanted to read. It resonated with me down to my bones, and I was stunned with euphoria for days.
Lindsey Cook
Apr 26, 2012 Lindsey Cook rated it really liked it
An interesting read, a little slow in the beginning, i found one part of the story more interesting then the other. but the present day story got more interesting near the middle of the book.
May 04, 2008 Jessica rated it liked it
Murray really channels that poetic dreaminess common among Latin American writers, but the plotting's a bit thin for my taste.
Chris Leuchtenburg
Nov 06, 2015 Chris Leuchtenburg rated it it was ok
Shelves: literature
I only read about a hundred pages. Neither the characters nor the historical, reimagined plot spoke to me.
Marie Villanueva
Oct 27, 2007 Marie Villanueva rated it liked it
Liked this book because it had good historical references about the conquest, also had a good fictional story that played along well with the history of the conquest.
May 06, 2010 Sam rated it liked it
Shelves: owned
The story was really interesting, probably deserving of a 4, but I didn't care for the author's writing style, and the modern love story dragged on a little too much.
Sep 21, 2014 Sybele rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I felt like reading a weekend love novel. The author's style was better than we could find in those novels, but the plot ... Maybe my expectations were too high.
Anna Mercado
Feb 15, 2012 Anna Mercado rated it really liked it
Love, Murder, Magic and Seduction. A book to get lost in.
I would have rated the book with 4 stars but I was disappointed with the ending and the choice that Sara made.

Aug 12, 2014 Natalie rated it it was ok
"I store soldiers' stories in gilded rooms, even as those same soldiers burned other, strange libraries."
Pauline O'callaghan
Pauline O'callaghan rated it really liked it
Aug 30, 2012
Cate Molina
Cate Molina rated it did not like it
May 12, 2008
Marie rated it really liked it
Mar 01, 2015
Tyler rated it liked it
Nov 23, 2015
Robin rated it liked it
Apr 06, 2011
Jan 28, 2010 Marieka rated it it was ok
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Yxta Maya Murray is a professor at Loyola Law School and currently lives in Studio City, California.
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“Books make dangerous devils out of women.” 27 likes
“Every morning, after a few sips of coffee and a bit of small talk, each of us retreats with our books, and travels centuries away from this place.” 3 likes
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