Music and theme

I’m not a huge Coldplay fan, but they released Viva la Vida when I was writing The Last Conquistador, and this song lodged itself in my head. In my mind, the character of Rodrigo, a 16th-century Spaniard with big dreams, was in over his head. His motivations were complex, but much of it was a hunger for wealth and status. But his explorations in the Americas didn’t turn out as planned.

Colplay’s song carries a theme of melancholy, the rise and fall of a king or conqueror. And they were inspired by Mexican-born Frida Kahlo. Her work, in turn, fuses the old and new worlds.

Here’s the Coldplay video, an unofficial version with lyrics.


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