"A swashbuckling, riotous good time, befitting the fairy-tale promise of the opening sentence. There is intrigue, love, madness, fighting, dancing, all ornamented by many a sumptuous costume and lavish meal. But Mayo paints this vivid action with the delicate touch of a fine-haired brush."--The Austin-American Statesman "I have read a few sweeping historical novels that have remained inside of me forever. Tolstoy's War and Peace is one of those, Dickens's A Tale of Two Cities is another, Pasternak's Doctor Zhivago is another, and now The Last Prince of the Mexican Empire is another."--Mexico Connect "A stunning achievement, an inspired novel that steers clear of boring history lessons and instead zeroes in on the smallest epicenter -- Principe Agustin de Iturbide y Green -- to spiral out into a wondrous period, 1860s Mexico, a time of political possibility and unrest in which "persons who do not appear to share even a footprint's worth of common ground turn out to have destinies bound together in painful knots."--El Paso Times "Mayo - winner of the Flannery O'Connor Award for Short Fiction for her collection Sky Over El Nido - has conducted significant research to compile a story that is both grand yet intimate about a child who sparked an international scandal...The intriguing tale of the Prince of Mexico offers a fine historical lesson about why Maximilian's paternalistic adventure in a country that did not want him was doomed from the start." --Latin American Book Review "[A] rich historical novel... Political ambitions, the intrigues of the imperial court, and the relationship between countries at the height of European colonization all the drive the intricate plot of the novel, taking us on a dizzying journey from Washington to Veracruz to Paris and back to Mexico and the U.S... The evocative descriptions and ironic commentary on the relationship between cultures make this an enjoyable and important novel, particularly relevant for these times."--Literal: Latin American Voices "A fascinating historical account delivered in such sweeping, compelling prose as to ring more like literature than fact--and, fundamentally, one could say that it's both; it proves false that old Dorothy Parker adage about historical novels being neither novels nor history. This is an extensively researched and brilliantly organized book, combining geopolitics, international finance, military strategy, and, alas, the eternal struggle of a family, a child, and the human heart in the midst of it all...Mayo, who has lived in Mexico for many years and has written extensively about its history and culture, is the author of a travel memoir about Baja California, among other works. Her literary style is seasoned, intelligent, and wonderfully informed."--Multicultural Review "The story has plenty to lure the reader: banditry, kidnapping, hubris, madness; but it is a fine attention to detail, on both the factual and visceral levels, that distinguishes C.M. Mayo's first novel, The Last Prince of the Mexican Empire. Drawing from original research and a nuanced understanding of Mexico, Mayo relates one of Mexico's more fantastic historical episodes: Maximilian, an idealistic Austrian prince who, with French backing, is crowned emperor in 1864...Perceptive, and adept at imagining the peeves and wicked daydreams of people from all walks of life... "--THE PEOPLE'S GUIDE TO MEXICO Blog
About the Author
C. M. Mayo has been living in and writing about Mexico for many years. Her story collection, Sky Over El Nido, won the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction. She is also the author of a widely acclaimed travel memoir and is an avid translator and editor of contemporary Mexican literature.