As we have traveled New Mexico we have made friends with writers who live in and write about New Mexico. From time to time, we’ll offer you a review and our impressions of their stories. And we’ll encourage you to explore New Mexico through its many authors who bring their own images of our Land of Enchantment to life.
Seven Cities of Mud
By Florence B. Weinberg
Published 2008 by Twilight Times Books
Strong-willed Franciscan Fray Augustin organizes an entrada from Mexico into New Mexico a half century after Coronado, intent of converting Native Americans to Christianity. He recruits two other friars and eight soldiers. The entourage, with servants and livestock, embarks on a journey that carries them as far north as Taos and into the complexities of reconciling European culture with that of the Puebloans. Meanwhile, Poli, a pueblo woman whose husband suspiciously falls to his death soon after their marriage, is confronted by the arrogant, powerful, and cruel Makta, whose only desire is to possess her. Needless to say, the soldiers are there for treasure and complicate the situation. Priests, warriors, and Puebloans are in conflict the moment they are joined. Weinburg weaves a fascinating tale, integrating the history of Spanish conquest in a satisfying, nonintrusive way. Not only did I read a marvelous tale, I learned a bit more about my adopted home state.
Seven Cities of Mud is one of a series of historical novels set in the American Southwest and was a 2008 finalist for the New Mexico Book Awards.
- Book review by Bud Russo