Sunday, July 19, 2009

Book Review: Zorro, by Isabel Allende

Title: Zorro: A Novel (P.S.)
Author: Isabel Allende
Rating: ****
Tags: fantasy, historical novel, california, spain, gypsies, adventure

Isabel Allende in this novel takes all the elements of the legend of Zorro and turns them into a compelling novel. Diego de la Vega is born in Alta California, three-quarters Spanish and one quarter Indian. His mother's Indian servant gives birth the same day to Bernardo, and for the rest of their lives the two boys are closer than brothers.

Allende builds her hero, Zorro, element by element. His Indian grandmother teaches the boys about nature, spirit, and healing. While finishing his education in Spain, he learns the sword from a master, and the Gypsies he gets to know in Spain teach him sleight-of-hand and showmanship. He learns balance on the ships to and from Spain.

More than that, Allende creates compelling characters, Diego, Bernardo, Diego's parents, the sisters Juliana and Isobel, and the pirate Jean Lafitte.

Fine read.

Publication Harper Perennial (2006), Edition: Rep Tra, Paperback, 416 pages
Publication date 2006
ISBN 0060779004 / 9780060779009

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