Saturday, May 5, 2012

The Last Song by Eva Wiseman

Genre:  YA Historical Fiction

Description (taken from Goodreads):
Spain had been one of the world’s most tolerant societies for eight hundred years, but that way of life was wiped out by the Inquisition. Isabel’s family feels safe from the terrors, torture, and burnings. After all, her father is a respected physician in the court of Ferdinand and Isabella. Isabel was raised as a Catholic and doesn’t know that her family’s Jewish roots may be a death sentence. When her father is arrested by Torquemada, the Grand Inquisitor, she makes a desperate plan to save his life – and her own.

So I definitely enjoy historical fiction, and that's probably why I enjoyed this novel.  Granted, it's the first novel I've read that's set in Spain and around the Spanish Inquisition.  But it's definitely sparked curiosity and made me want to learn more.  Man, humanity has done some horrible things in its time...

The story starts out with Isabel's parents selecting a suitable 'Christian' husband for her.  During her betrothal, we find out that Luis really isn't very respectable, nor does he shine with a Christian light.  As the story unfolds, we find out that Isabel's family was forced to join the Catholic church or face death.  Hence, they are new Christians and face more danger when the Inquisition comes knocking on their doors.

I very much enjoyed the history and the landscape in this book.  All the historical references to people and cities; I liked it.  I definitely got some strong feelings of shame based on this sad past of ours.  However, the romance in this book felt a little bland.  I'd recommend this book to those who enjoy historical fiction, especially those surrounding Jewish captivity (e.g. WWII).

Thanks goes to Tundra Books and Netgalley for providing me a review copy.

Challenges:  Young Adult Reading Challenge

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