Mexico has been in the news lately. It has also been part of the literary tsunami following the publication of Roberto Bolaño’s epic 2666. In the section entitled “The Part about the Crimes,” Bolaño brings us into a world of chaotic violence against women in Santa Teresa near the US-Mexican border. The free flow of capital and drugs turns Santa Teresa into a zone of relentless murder, brutality, and violation. But to understand the violence of modern Mexico, one must also understand the violence of 19th century Mexico. C.M. Mayo’s historical romance, The Last Prince of the Mexican Empire, brings to light aristocratic intrigue, revolutionary violence, and dynastic striving during the late 1860s.
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