'Thomas's knowledge is deep and skilfully deployed. His writing is brisk, his love of detail enriching: he has a fine historical imagination and grasp of human nature. ' Ronald Wright, T. L. S. 'His narrative history on a grand scale. It is the narrative of heroic deeds by extraordinary men. . . ' Anthony Pagden, GUARDIAN Hugh thomas's account of the collapse of Montezuma's great Mexican empire under the onslaught of Cortes conquistadors is one of the major historical works of the decade. It bristles with moral and political issues requiring a deep knowledge and judgement of history, and yet it is a thrilling narrative, brimful of the sheer excitement of discovery. The conquest was one of the most dramatic in history -500 conquistadors destroyed their boats and marched towards the capital of the greatest empire in the new world, reaching Tenochtitlan to be given a courtly welcome by Montezuma, who assumed that they were gods. There follows the most extraordinary clash of cultures and battle of wills, leading to the final destruction of the Aztec empire.