The Goldsmith's Daughter, Paperback
4 out of 5 (1 rating)


From the Carnegie Medal-winning author of Buffalo Soldier comes the story of a young girl struggling to change the course of her fate as the once mighty Aztec Empire collapses around her.

In the golden city of Tenochtitlan, the people live in fear of the gods; to keep them at bay, they are prepared to pay a toll in blood.

Itacate, a girl born under an ill-fated sky, is destined for a life of submission and domestic drudgery.

But her father, a goldsmith, discovers her talent for his craft, and so she begins to work as his apprentice in secret.

When Spanish raiders invade the city, she finds herself at risk of being exposed.

Can she escape her destiny and survive in this harsh new world?


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Walker Books Ltd
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Adventure
  • ISBN: 9781406307078



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Itacate was born in the great city of Tenochtitlán during the last years of the ill-fated Aztec empire. Her mother died giving birth to Itacate and her twin brother, and Itacate herself almost didn’t survive. As a result, she is considered from birth to be unlucky and destined to a terrible future, while her brother is believed to be destined to greatness. She spends her childhood mostly ignored, until her father, a goldsmith, discovers her talents and makes her his secret apprentice. But the year Itacate turns fifteen, everything changes.First, Itacate’s twin brother, whom she believed would grow to be a great warrior, is instead chosen as a sacrifice to the gods. Then, Spanish Conquistadors arrive. Itacate catches the eye of one young Spaniard, Francisco. But when their secret love is discovered, it brings down upon them the wrath of her father and the disapproval of her people. And time is running out for Tenochtitlán and its people. What will become of Itacate, her family, and her beloved when the city falls?The Goldsmith’s Daughter is a fascinating historical novel that brings to life the Aztec culture and the final days of the great city of Tenochtitlán and the beginning of the Spanish conquest of the Americas. Although the historical outcome is known, there is still suspense in wondering what will become of the fictional characters when the city inevitably is destroyed. Although the author does make a few modifications to the actual historical events for the sake of the story, overall she does a good job of introducing teen readers to the Aztec culture and to an era of history not often written about for young adults.

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