A really excellent, gripping tale, set in the early part of the 19th century; fictional but very firmly rooted in fact.
The central story is about José de San Martín's efforts, as an Argentine army general, to overthrow Spanish colonial control of north west Argentina, Chile and Peru, and the exploits of Lord Cochrane, a disgraced former English MP and Royal Navy officer, who led the Argentinian navy in support of San Martín.
The book really scores by not only telling the story of the liberation wars from the top down, through the eyes of San Martín and Cochrane, but also from the bottom up, through the eyes of the little people caught up in them: the Indian, who escapes slavery in the silver mines of Potosi, the African slave, who kills his master and escapes from Brazil, the two ranchers, who leave their ranch, and others, all of whom join up to fight in the liberation armies; the young girl who, after the Spanish kill her father, is forced into prostitution to survive.
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