When in 1540 Pedro de Valdivia left Peru to conquer lands south, he took with him his beautiful mistress, Inés de Suárez. With him also rode his secretary, Juan de Cardeña, whose hopeless love of Inés stems from the same romances that inspired Don Quixote. Crossing the Atacama Desert and founding the city of Santiago, then taking their conquest south, the Spanish encounter the indomitable resistance of the Mapuche….
For the first time, Arauco recreates the invasion of the land now called Chile from both the Spanish and native points of view, so that its pages also include: Lautaro, the Mapuche youth who led his people to an epic victory; Ñamku, albino shaman of the Mapuche; his sworn enemy, the sorcerer Kurufil. And Arauco also tells of Raytrayen, the Mapuche girl Juan de Cardeña came to love….