Release Date: 31/03/11
Zarita, only daughter of the town magistrate, lives a life of wealth and privilege. Indulged by her parents, she is free to spend her days as she pleases, enjoying herself in the company of an eligible young nobleman, horse riding, or leisurely studying the arts. Saulo, son of a family reduced by circumstances to begging, witnesses his father wrongfully arrested and dealt with in the most horrifying way. Hauled off to be a slave at sea and pursued by pirates he encounters the ambitious mariner explorer, Christopher Columbus. Throughout his hardships Saulo is determined to survive - for he has sworn vengeance on the magistrate and his family. As Zarita's life also undergoes harsh changes the formidable and frightening Inquisition arrives in the area, bringing menacing shadows of suspicion with acts of cruel brutality - and ultimately, amid the intrigues of the court of Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand in the splendid Moorish city of Grenada, betrayal and revenge...
At the time of reading this, I’d just finished The Confessions of Catherine De Medici by CW Gortner so as such I was still in the mood for staying within the same sort of timeline as I found it fascinating (yes I am aware that there is nearly a century between their deaths) so when I found this book waiting to be read I thought that it sounded interesting and would give it a go.
What I got from this title was a story that whilst the characters were interesting stretched possibilities alongside plausibility a little too far for me to believe which all in, left me feeling cheated. After all a story that starts with the hanging of a boy’s father on the whim of a spoilt rich girl who vows vengeance should stick to its guns throughout yet it doesn’t. Add to this way too much information in regard to sailing for the time period and it felt bogged down with unnecessary detail.
For me, the tales saving grace were the characters, they were vibrant, fully formed and the emotional conflict that each underwent really did make this title something that had a lot of potential and as any reader knows finding that connection with the characters is what keeps you going.
On the whole if I saw another book by Theresa I would pick it up and give it a go, although I hope that she would look more at what could happened rather than trying to get to a destination through any route possible as opposed to letting the characters get their on their own. Forcing them to obey you because that’s what you feel it should do isn’t the best way to get them to stick by the author/reader and can lead to obvious writing conflicts.