Author: Isabel Allende Translated by: Margaret Sayers Peden
Publisher: Harper Perennial 2005
Genre: Historical Fiction
Rating: 4/5 stars
Reading Challenges: UnRead Shelf; Alphabet Soup - A; Popsugar - Clothing on Cover
Born in southern California late in the eighteenth century, he is a child of two worlds. Diego de la Vega's father is an aristocratic Spanish military man turned landowner; his mother, a Shoshone warrior. Diego learns from his maternal grandmother, White Owl, the ways of her tribe while receiving from his father lessons in the art of fencing and in cattle branding. It is here, during Diego's childhood, filled with mischief and adventure, that he witnesses the brutal injustices dealt Native Americans by European settlers and first feels the inner conflict of his heritage.
At the age of sixteen, Diego is sent to Barcelona for a European education. In a country chafing under the corruption of Napoleonic rule, Diego follows the example of his celebrated fencing master and joins La Justicia, a secret underground resistance movement devoted to helping the powerless and the poor. With this tumultuous period as a backdrop, Diego falls in love, saves the persecuted, and confronts for the first time a great rival who emerges from the world of privilege.
Between California and Barcelona, the New World and the Old, the persona of Zorro is formed, a great hero is born, and the legend begins. After many adventures -- duels at dawn, fierce battles with pirates at sea, and impossible rescues -- Diego de la Vega, a.k.a. Zorro, returns to America to reclaim the hacienda on which he was raised and to seek justice for all who cannot fight for it themselves.
My UnRead Shelf Project pick for January. This has been sitting on my shelf, not for years only months, but for whatever reason, it keeps gets passed over. I finally picked it up and really enjoyed Allende’s style of writing. I love her construction of the story, focusing on different time periods during Diego’s life. I enjoyed the flow of the narrative. Definitely done well! And yet, I wasn’t completely engrossed in the story and and characters. Something about all the characters created a big gap for me. I just didn’t love it. But, a really good historical fiction.
Next up on the TBR pile: