With a flourish of trumpets, Don Juan de Onate claimed possession of la Nueva Mexico on the banks of el Rio del Norte in 1598. The land of pueblos surely would yield riches for the Spanish crown and prove Onate worthy of the title adelantado for two lifetimes to come. But some colonists with dreams of their own soon grew restless in the desolate region and los indios would not be convinced. Onate, feeling isolated and mistrusted by the authorities in Mexico City, resigned his governorship and left New Mexico in 1610 both slandered and shamed. Raw facts of history are molded into a moving story in this novel about the founding of Spanish New Mexico. This is also the story of a tender relationship between father and son. Through the innocent and gentle nature of his boy, Cristobal - who becomes unofficial governor of the territory that would also be his final, premature resting place - Onate finds lonely redemption.