You will make war with the beast of the city, and the people will be grateful, and in this way will your fame be fortified.
Every fifty-two years, the God Xiuhtecuhtli – incarnate for the purpose as a young Mexica male – would give himself in sacrifice in order that the universe should be renewed and the passage of time
would continue as it had done before. Those born to other cultures and other eras might be forgiven for their failure to appreciate this great and selfless act.
It was therefore strange that such a profound understanding should arise in one so far removed from the heart of this world, both veteran and victim of the terrible, endless war in heaven, a man the Mexica knew briefly as Coahualxiu bearing a death wish the size of creation...