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3.9 41
by Isabel Allende, Margaret Sayers Peden (Translator), Margaret Sayers Peden (Translator)

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A swashbuckling adventure story that reveals for the first time how Diego de la Vega became the masked man we all know so well

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

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Zorro 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 41 reviews.
turtle_king37 More than 1 year ago
Zorro is a historical novel about a brave hearted young man's journey through childhood to his adult years. In this novel we follow the boy named Diego de la Vega through his child hood in California with his Spanish father and native American warrior mother. He learns his Spanish heritage from his father who teaches him the art of fencing and branding and roping cattle. He learned his native heritage from his grand mother who is called white owl. She teaches him about the values and morals of their tribe. Also he is accompanied by his “milk brother” Bernardo . he calls Bernardo his milk brother because when the two of them were both mere babies Bernardo and Diego shared Diego’s mothers breast milk because Bernardo’s mother was unable to feed him. The two boys grew together and come the year they both turned 16 they were sent to Barcelona so Diego could attend school and fencing lessons. Her is where he met the woman of his dreams . . . Juliana de Romeu . He met her while staying at his father’s friend’s house in the city she was his daughter and consi9dered one of the most beautiful women in Barcelona. Diego’s love for her is fierce and he develops a rivalry with one of her most persistent suitors. When Tomas de romeu was considered a traitor he was jailed and Diego took his daughters to California to escape the Spanish authorities. This book is a good novel with action adventure and a love interest I might recommend it to future readers.
SherryF More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
 The book “Zorro” written by Isabel Allende is a heart pounding, eye catching book filled with love, hope  and inspiration. I had the 2005 edition by HarperCollins Publishers Inc. in New York. I would recommend  this edition for people who have eye sight trouble for it was written in large print.             “Zorro” is written in a third person point of view but like no other book I have read. The author wrote  as if she was in a plane watching as the action, crimes and gloomy moments of the life of Diego de la Vega, the main character took place. Diego was born in southern California and although his father was  very rich and very well know he did not have an easy life. Having Indian blood and having an Indian milk  brother made things worse, but he took pride in his heritage and loved his brother. He was a very mischievous child and went against his fathers wishes quit a bit and with his brother at his side  committed many pranks. He was known for setting bullies straight. He grew slower than his brother and stayed uninterested in women longer than most, but he was brilliant in school so his father sent him and  his brother Bernardo to Spain to get a better schooling. They stayed with the Romeu family and that is when the adventure truly starts!             In Spain he met Juliana who he instantly fell head-over-heels for, Isabel her sister, Amalia and her gypsy friends and many more. Bernardo missing his one true love never felt quit right in Spain but Diego  felt more free and alive there. Here he learned to fight, read and speak Catalan and much more which  he put to use in his later years. Diego always had a heart of fury but never let it show. His mind was set for fairness and fairness he accepted only. Therefore when his brother announced that he had to go back  home to his true love and to where he belongs. He could not argue. Although Diego would miss him more than the sun if it went down for good, he knew he had to let him go and live with writing letters to him.             In Spain Diego’s fairness truly came out. Getting lost in reality and fantasy Diego created a second  identity. This second identity could fight and does acrobatics with the grace of a gazelle. This second  identity was known as Zorro. Zorro came alive at night when he was rescuing his friends form places they  did not belong. He saved as many lives as possible but when he could not save the life of Mr. Romeu he  took the liberty of looking after his beloved children Juliana and Isabel. He made their safety his main priority.  To keep the girls safe he decides the best thing is to move back to California but the only way to do this is to walk the whole way. While this fiasco is going on Diego’s identity is at risk and so is his safety and the girls. If anything happened to the girls he would never be able to live with himself because he  promised their father. Also if anything happens to the girls he would loose his true love from either depression or the separation between worlds.              Will they all make it to Spain alive or will there be funerals on the way? Will Diego’s identity be hidden forever as he wishes or will the girls find out, or worse the police?              This book will leave you speechless and dazzled by this astounding, awe-inspiring, jaw dropping story. With every flick of the page comes a new adventure you will be taken on with Diego. I promise you  will not want to put this book down once you have picked it up. You will have to be pulled back into reality  but still day-dreaming about what will happen next in the remarkable life of Diego de la Vega. Enjoy this  book and read it many times over because each time you find a new exhilarating point you did not catch the last time.
sharwest More than 1 year ago
While the first 100 or so pages of the book are slow, the rest of the book is faster paced and a fun read. Swashbuckling characters with romance added make for an entertaining story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read "Zorro" by Isabel Allende, and I really enjoyed the story. If I picked it up, I had some trouble putting it down! For those who might be interested in reading "Zorro," it is a story about the life of Diego de la Vega and his family, friends, and teachers. It all starts when Diego is born to his parents, Alejandro de la Vega, a captain from the Spanish Military, and Toypurnia, a half Hispanic-half Indian woman who is renamed Regina. He also becomes "milk-brothers" with Bernardo, a boy the same age as him. They are milk-brothers because they are both fed Bernardo's mother Ana's milk while Regina recovers strength from Diego's birth. Over time, Diego and Bernardo grow up together, and are brothers in their minds and spirit. They train together, and even when Diego's teacher refuses to teach Bernardo because of his heavily Indian descent. Diego agrees to teach Bernardo what his fencing teacher Manuel Escalante teaches him. They also spend time out on the ocean, and Diego and Bernardo learn about life on the ship to Barcelona. As time goes on and the two boys mature, they continue training to become powerful warriors. Diego becomes such a great warrior, that Maestro Manuel decides to induct him into his secret group of warriors, La Justicia. There, Diego's alter ego of "Zorro" is born. His main goal after that is to give justice to the unfortunate and the innocent. However, some people try to get in the way of that and figure out his true identity. I read this and really enjoyed it for multiple reasons. One reason I enjoyed this story is because of all of the action involved. There were many fights, battles, and duels between Diego, Bernardo, and a few other characters in the story. It was a thrilling read, and I recommend this book to everyone, especially people who enjoy action.
EmmaSpanish1 More than 1 year ago
Diego de la Vega, born and raised in California, travels to Spain at age 16 with his silent milk brother, Bernardo. There, Diego falls in love with his hosts daughter, the impossibly beautiful Juliana. But Juliana does not love Diego back. Diego has always liked adventure, and learns how to fight with swords and other weapons. He assumes the name of Zorro, which is fox in spanish, after a fox that helped him survive when he went into the forest to prove that he was a man amongst the indian tribe that lived nearby him. This masks him from the many foes and enemies he gains in Spain. Diego is a fighter, but learns to be disciplined, and is clever and brave, if not a little foolish at times. He becomes friends with many in his stay in Spain, and also gains enemies, although they don¿t know who he is, besides the masked vigilante. He fights in duels and wins, and succeeds in getting Juliana¿s attention after he gains a bullet wound. Bernardo has gone mute after he witnessed people coming into his village and the killing of his family. His mother fed him and Diego, which symbolizes that they are milk brothers. He goes to Spain with Diego and is quiet and mainly goes unnoticed throughout his journey there, just acting as Diego¿s shadow. He returns to California though after he hears word through a sailor about the girl he fell in love with. He promises to keep in touch with Diego, because Diego stays behind to pursue Juliana. There is also another young girl in the house, Juliana¿s younger sister, Isabel. She isn¿t nearly as pretty as Juliana, but she seems smarter and knows what the two boys had been up to. She was sad to see Bernardo go, and he the same for her, he had come to see her as a younger sister. I enjoyed this book and I think that it was a fun and exciting book, although some parts were slow moving, there was usually good action. For people that like books with fighting and adventure, this book should be read.
coolguyshavethenamezack More than 1 year ago
I read the Novel Zorro, by Isabel Allende for a book report in school, and at first I was expecting a simple boreing book that I had to do for a school project, but as i began to read more, I found what an exciting and creative story it really was. The book is a prequile to the 1919 novel, The Curse of Capistrano by Johnston Mcmulley, and its about Dieago de la Vega (aka Zorro) and his journy into becomeing the masked hero Zorro. his father, Captain Alejandro de la Vega, marries a young indian girl named Toypurnia (who changes her name later to Regina). they meet through a missionary, because Alejandro was a millitary man stationed there, because the tribe Regina belonged to was frequently attacking the spanish mission. However, in the end the victors were the spanish and Regina and Alejandro got happily married. They moved to the country and Alejandro becomes a hacienda owner, along with them is Ana, a close friend of Regina and a religous convert to the missionary. Then they have a son, Diego De La Viga, coincedentally and the same week Ana has her child, Bernardo, both grow up together as the closest of friends (considered milk brothers because they both were breast fed by the same women) and as they grew older they picked up many traits and talents that defined their type of character throughout the book. Diego recieved fence training and spent much time with the indians of his area (which is how he got the name "Zorro" because on a vision quest a fox was spiritually part of him)Overall, the book began to get very exciting, "when Diego regained conciousness, the ruffians were still running around the house looking for loot, and smoke from the fire was drifting into the room" this is the seen from the book where Pirates had come onto the property of Regina and Diego, they were rampageing and all Diego and his mother could do was fight back. Diego had to count on his skills with a sword to defend his property and his mother. but durning the fight Diego brakes two ribs and is knocked unconcious (hence the quote) but if he thought that was bad, he couldn't even imagine what happened to his dear friend Bernardo, which you can only find out if you take the time to read the book, because it just would'nt be right for me to spoil it for you. I can honestly say this book was worth reading, and that Isabel Allende disserves holding the title of having a New York Times best seller. i really recomend this book to anyone who loves history and action, the sword fights were very exciting and the story itself fits in perfectly to the 1919 book The Curse of Capistrano. This book really reflects Hispanic culture, and history, I recomend anyone who has an interest in this book should take the oprotunity to read it.
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Sueszoo More than 1 year ago
I received this book as a gift from my husband, who knows that I love the movie -and so does he- "Zorro" with Antonio Bandaras and Anthony Hopkins. (We collect both books and movies.) I enjoy nothing more than a well-written book, which this is. Yes, the movie is escapism and fantastical, so what? We all need a good hero now and then. In this book, the author provides the childhood background of Zorro and explains where he got those "fantastical" abilities like sword-fighting and those gymnastics that Bandaras does in the movie. Her writing takes you in and provides a background and a "reasonable" explanation for our hero's abilities. Written from the viewpoint of another character, one who you don't find out who it is until the end, unless you can figure out who it is (which you probably can). No, this isn't a "classic", just engaging and well-written. The characters have depth and have human faults; some you'll like and some not. It's a good "escapism" read for a long weekend.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A thoroughly entertaining read. I really enjoyed it.
Scotty-2-Hotty More than 1 year ago
Zorro is an incredible entertaining and enlightening novel. The author, Isabel Allende, creates an environment of pure enjoyment as you learn about the history of Diego de la Vega, Zorro. However Allende masterfully places in rich and insightful details about the history and life of the Hispanic people also. The way they live, act, and why they did it, all while reading about the life of Zorro. "To their eyes, the ancient Catalan port resembled a forest of mast and sails. There were ships of every origin, shape, and size. If the youths had been impressed by the little town of Panama, imagine the effect Barcelona had on them." Pg. 110. Allende drops in a historic backdrop of Barcelona, in brilliant imagery and in all its grandeur without straying away from the story. A gift Allende presented to readers throughout the novel. Diego de la Vega was born in Alta California, he is the son of a famous Spanish general and a great female Indian warrior. He learns multiple virtues from both the Spanish and Indian world forming his immensely successful childhood. His constant activities, hard work, and studies lead to his unmatchable agility and mind. While enduring an Indian right of passage he is influenced by a fox "Zorro" and thus Zorro was born. Throughout his travel a maturity is born and a greater knowledge envelopes him. He crosses the Atlantic to study in Spain and becomes obsessed with the art of fencing. His master, Emanuel Escalante, teaches him all about the art, and the hobby is adopted instantly. "For Diego, fencing was the most important activity of the day." Pg. 132. This love might of only come second to love he has for a women. But the beauty of his love, Juliana, a fierce rivalry is developed with Moncada, one who also craves Juliana's heart. With these two loves fondly in his mind and Spain under a harsh Napoleon rule Diego joins a group to help the poor and needy. He soon becomes a master of stealth and justice. He soon returns home in hope to save his "Hacienda" and perform similar tasks to that in Spain. Zorro is most defiantly a necessary read. A fantastic adventure, coming of age, and historical masterpiece all mingled into one. With and array of back stories that keep readers interested and wanting more. With a man fighting for what's right, Zorro is an influential and prodigiously well written novel. "For Justice! - Diego and Isabel exclaimed in unison." Pg. 384.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Spikalus More than 1 year ago
Zorro is the story of the young Diego de la Vega¿s life from his birth to his becoming a man. (Metaphorically not biologically of course.) It is set during the Napoleonic Era when Spain was occupied by France. Diego was born in Alta California by a half Spanish - half Indian warrior woman and a distinguished Hidalgo of the Spanish Army but later, after his 15th birthday, he traveled with his best friend / ¿milk-brother¿ to Spain. That is where Diego learns to be a gentleman and, secretly, how to be a freedom fighter. With this combination, Zorro is born. It is a great adventure full of historic facts and Spanish culture that will keep you reading all night long.
nprfan1 More than 1 year ago
You should know two things before you start reading this book. First, Isabel Allende's memories of Zorro are of the Disney version. There is a Bernardo in her book, but Tyrone Power did not have a Bernardo backing him up in the movie - but then again, neither Power nor Guy Williams (the TV Zorro) had an Isabel or a Lolita as a love interest.

Second, while this is an extremely good novel, don't read it with the expectation that it's similar in any way to any of Allende's other books. "Zorro" is completely unlike anything else she has ever written. The other Allende novels I've read have been more similar to, say, Gabriel Garcia Marquez in tone and plot, although Allende's other novels never had the mysticism of Garcia Marquez's wonderful tales.

For this book, Allende has gone off in a completely different and enchanting direction. Where she borrows from the known Zorro legend, she borrows accurately - the characters of, for example, Moncada and Garcia were completely accurate, and I could picture them in my head as they were in the TV series. Where she goes off on her own, her story is totally believable and logical.

I find myself hoping that Allende will write a sequel, but I know that it will never happen. I do hope, though, that this book will bring about a resurgence of interest in Zorro.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Guest More than 1 year ago
this was over all a good book. the only problem i had with it was that i would read a paragraph, and then reread it five times because i couldn't understand it the first time. however, it was over all a good book and i DO recomend it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Sorry, but I was terribly disappointed with this story. It is original and welll written, but takes far too many liberties with the Zorro character and legend. If Sra. Allende wished to rewrite so much of Zorro's family and personal history, why did she not invent a whole new character?
Guest More than 1 year ago
Zorro by Isabel Allende is the prequel to the other Zorro Chronicles. Allende¿s Zorro was published in 2005, by the HarperCollins Publishers. Zorro by Isabel Allende tells the story of Diego de la Vega¿s fight for the justice of the innocent. Diego de la Vega is one fourth Native American and three fourths Spanish. He is the son of the honorable and loyal Captain Alejandro de la Vega, and the son of Toypurnia 'who later takes the name of Regina', the rebellious ex-Chief of a fierce tribe who were among the first Indians to rebel against the Spanish. Diego and his mother are both looked down upon by the other Spanish nobles and colonists because Regina is half Spanish and half Indian. Zorro tells the story of young Diego, of how he is forced to face both of his heritages. Diego spent most of his childhood with his milk brother Bernardo, 'many people mistaken them as twins', at Diego¿s grandmother¿s, 'White Owl¿s', tribe and learn of the Native Americans rights of pass and their history and myths. They also are sent on a set of trials to see their futures before they cross the line of manhood. In their adolescent years, Diego and Bernado are sent to Barcelona, Spain by Diego¿s father, Alejandro, to go and practice fencing with the most famous fencing master, Maestro Manuel Escalante. Maestro Manuel will not teach Bernardo because he is an Indian, so Diego makes a pact with Bernardo, that whatever he learns from Manuel, he will teach Bernardo. On their way to Barcelona, they both learn how to tie sailor knots, swing from the ropes on the ships, how to play gambling games and win, and even Diego learns how to do magic tricks. Upon their arrival in Barcelona, they stay with Tomas de Romeu, an old friend of Diego¿s father. Diego immediately falls for his daughter, Juliana, although he has some competition to win her heart, Rafael Moncada. As Diego grew in years, his fencing skills grew immensely, pleasing Maestro Manuel, but he also got closer to the maestro allowing him to then know that he could trust Diego with his secret and bring Diego into the secret organization `La Justicia.¿ That is where the birth of Zorro began and Diego de la Vega began his journey down the road to self discovery. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes history in detail, along with sword play. Isabel Allende did an amazing job on bringing Zorro¿s birth to life. In this book, many historic events are discussed and many resolved. I liked this book because of the action and adventure, wrapped around the history of the world. But also because Zorro is a symbol that stood out for the people, and Isabel Allende relates that the reason Diego became Zorro was to avenge his grandmother¿s tribe when they were killed. I learned of the many unhappy things that happened to not only the Indians by the Spanish, but of what happened to the Spanish by the French. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes descriptive details of stories. Isabel Allende wrote Zorro with a very imaginative and detailed vocabulary. Zorro was full of imaginative sword play, acrobatics, and magic tricks. Diego becomes enchanting as both Zorro and himself. Heroism is presented to the public by Zorro, who becomes loved by the poor and innocent that he defends, and feared by the evil and corrupted as they read his initials that he slashed into the bad guys!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Isabel Allende has written a wonderful story in her rendition of Zorro's life. The more recent Zorro movies only tell audiences of Zorro's adult life. Allende has taken the other road (a road that is very similar to that of the storyline of Batman Begins) by telling the story of how young Diego de la Vega became the legendary fox, Zorro. Her inclusion of some semi-political content with the marriage of Diego's father, Alejandro to an Indian woman, is an interesting angle. It was a very integral part in Diego's transformation into Zorro, although most of the story takes place in Spain. Allende's writing style is one that is simple enough for anyone to read. This is definitely one of the best aspects of Zorro. She does not write in big flowery terms. It is a book that anyone of any age could read, and would love to read, because as the book notes, 'We all pledge allegiance to Zorro.'