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When Malinalli, a member of a tribe conquered by the Aztec warriors, first meets Cortes, she--like so many--believes that the conquistador is the reincarnated forefather god of her tribe. Naturally, she assumes that her task is to help Cortes destroy the Aztec empire and free her people. The two fall passionately in love, but Malinalli gradually comes to realize that Cortes's thirst for conquest is all too human. He is willing to destroy anyone, even his own men, even their own love.