Charles V, Emperor of Europe and the New World, is the central figure in the second volume of Hugh Thomas's great history of the Spanish Empire. It begins with the return of the remnants of Magellan's expedition around the world in 1522 and ends with Charles's death in 1558. In the decades between, the Spaniards conquer Guatemala, Yucatan, Columbia, Venezuela, Peru and Chile, and control the banks of the mighty River Plate; the audacious conquistador Francisco de Orellana journeys down the Amazon, Cabeza de Vaca walks from Florida to Mexico, Juan Vazquez Coronado pioneers into New Mexico and Hernando de Soto vainly pursues worldly riches in Florida, Mississippi and Georgia. Hugh Thomas writes vividly, conveying the conquerors' almost disbelieving sense of what they were achieving. The discovery and subjugation of so many native peoples raised enormous controversy within Spain about how they should be treated, a debate Thomas explores perceptively, with an eye for resonances have lasted centuries. Hugh Thomas brings alive one of the most extraordinary and influential moments in High Renaissance and world history.