Federica de Cesco, Author
Day 3 in A to Z challenge
Federica de Cesco is a Swiss author of mainly young adult novels. The majority of her novels are available in only in French or German but some are also available in English. Her books held a high popularity in the 1990s and 2000s in the non-English speaking world, in part because they address historical and social problems from the viewpoint of teenage main characters.
One of the books translated into English is the Prince of Mexico, a teenage Romeo and Juliet story between two Aztec royals on the background of the Spanish invasion of Mexico in 1518. What grips the attention of the reader with such power is the rich detail, the colourful relief of Aztec life, cultural and social, that is created by the author. We follow the two main characters through their forbidden love, are immersed in their personal headache and danger, seeing the larger picture with the looming threat through their eyes. But though they do not understand the mounting horror awaiting in their future, we, seeing it through a historical lens, are caught. This dichotomy creates a deep tension, pulling the reader along first word to last.
This is a young adult book with an age range given at 14. I myself read it when I was 10 for first time and remember finding it hard going - though even then I could not put it down.