Tue, Dec

A Ballad of Love and Glory Set in Mexico by Reyna Grande


In A BALLAD OF LOVE AND GLORY (March 15th, 2022), set in México during the Mexican American War (1846–1848), Reyna Grande has done extensive research to bring readers the little-known story of the Saint Patrick’s Battalion, a company of mostly Irish soldiers who deserted the US Army to fight alongside the Mexicans and who paid the ultimate price. The novel illuminates the controversial history of the US-México border and the complex relationship between the two countries.

The year is 1846. Ximena Salomé de Benitez y Catalán, an alluring and gifted Mexican healer, sees her life turned upside down when the United States Army marches south to the Río Grande, provoking an unjust war with México. After her husband is killed by Texas Rangers, Ximena leaves her beloved ranch to serve her country’s cause, traveling as an army nurse from battlefield to battlefield.

Meanwhile, John Riley, a gallant Irish immigrant in the US Army, has grown disheartened by the brutal treatment inflicted upon his countrymen by nativist officers. In defiance, he swims across the Río Grande and joins the Mexican Army—a desertion that could get him executed. He goes on to lead the Saint Patrick’s Battalion, a company of deserters determined to defend México against the American invaders.

As the war intensifies, Ximena and John are drawn inexorably to each other but face an uncertain future together. Swept up by forces that have the power to change history, they fight for their lives, their love, and the fate of a nation. Will they survive this bitter war, or will they be devoured along with the land for which they fight?

Reyna Grande’s spellbinding tale, peopled by bold unforgettable characters and inspired by actual events, explores the conflicting meanings of courage, love and loyalty, while illuminating an unsung moment in history that continues to impact the US-México border to this day.

Reyna Grande is an award-winning author, motivational speaker, and writing teacher. As a girl, she crossed the US–México border to join her family in Los Angeles, a harrowing journey chronicled in The Distance Between Us, a National Book Critics Circle Award finalist. Her other books include the novels Across a Hundred Mountains and Dancing with Butterflies, and the memoirs The Distance Between Us: Young Reader’s Edition and A Dream Called Home. She lives in Woodland, California, with her husband and two children. Visit for more information.