A bravura re-imagining of the ‘discovery’ of the Americas, from a prize-winning writer.
RED SMOKING MIRROR
by Nick Hunt
Swift Press, July 2023
(via Randle Editorial and Literary)
The year is 1521 in the Mexica city of Tenochtitlan. Twenty-nine years earlier, Islamic Spain never fell to the Christians, and Andalus launched a voyage of discovery to the New Maghreb.
For two decades the Jewish merchant Eli Ben Abram, who led the first ships across the sea, has maintained a delicate peace in the Moorish enclave of Moctezuma’s breathtaking capital, assisted by his Nahua wife Malinala. But the emperor has been acting strangely, sacrifices are increasing at the temples, a mysterious sickness is spreading through the city, and there are rumours of a hostile army crossing the sea…
A bravura reimagining of an alternate history, RED SMOKING MIRROR is a richly written novel of love and fate, of how cultures co-operate and clash, and of how individuals can shape and are shaped by the times they live through.
Nick Hunt has walked and written across much of Europe. He has written a loose trilogy of books about walking in Europe, the first two of which were shortlisted for the Stanford Dolman Travel Book of the Year. His articles have appeared in The Economist, the Guardian and elsewhere, and he works as an editor for the Dark Mountain Project. RED SMOKING MIRROR is his first novel.