Zorro
  • Zorro
  • Zorro

Zorro

3.9 41
by Isabel Allende, Margaret Sayers Peden
     
 

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A child of two worlds—the son of an aristocratic Spanish military man turned landowner and a Shoshone warrior woman—young Diego de la Vega cannot silently bear the brutal injustices visited upon the helpless in late-eighteenth-century California. And so a great hero is born—skilled in athleticism and dazzling swordplay, his persona formed between

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Overview

A child of two worlds—the son of an aristocratic Spanish military man turned landowner and a Shoshone warrior woman—young Diego de la Vega cannot silently bear the brutal injustices visited upon the helpless in late-eighteenth-century California. And so a great hero is born—skilled in athleticism and dazzling swordplay, his persona formed between the Old World and the New—the legend known as Zorro.

Editorial Reviews

People
“Equal parts adventure, historical novel and family saga, Zorro is a moving portrait of a hero who is heartbreakingly human.”
Houston Chronicle
“One of those rare and perfect matches of subject and author... Sinfully entertaining ... Serious fiction.”
Chicago Tribune
“Lively and fascinating.”
USA Today
“Wonderfully crafted . . . Allende gives Zorro the feel of a folk or fairy tale.”
Austin American-Statesman
“A tale of adventure, history and romance, just in time for long reads on summer afternoons.”
Los Angeles Times
“Allende’s discreetly subversive talent really shows . . . You turn the pages, cheering on the masked man.”
Miami Herald
“Zorro is great fun . . . A thrilling journey into a world in which cultures clash as often as swords.”
Fort Worth Star-Telegram
“This is a full-blooded retelling of the old masked-man legend, and it crackles with action.”
Craig Nova
It is not possible to sum up the surprises, rescues from prisons, flirtations (between Zorro's true love and, for example, a pirate), but the book has plenty of what Hollywood would call non-stop action, and this is told with a pleasure so keen on the author's part that it's difficult not to be swept up in it.
— The Washington Post
Library Journal
Allende's retelling of Zorro displays her essential belief that the fabric of the story-the making of the man-is as important as the actions. Born to an aristocratic Spanish father and a tamed Shoshone warrior in 18th-century California, Diego de la Vega learns the lessons of injustice early. His mother's Indian blood and the violence perpetrated against the Native Americans by European settlers ignite a slow-burning fire in Diego. When Diego is sent to Barcelona with his "milk" brother Bernardo to be educated in the ways of his forebears, he studies with a fencing master and joins an underground resistance group, where Zorro the romantic revolutionary is truly forged. Allende's Zorro is not quite the violent, swashbuckling rogue that Johnston McCulley created in his serial potboilers, but this Zorro doesn't have to be for his character to be compelling. One does long for a little more swordplay, but Diego's crisis of identity, his relationship with Bernardo, and his love for a woman he cannot have make for enthralling reading. Allende (Daughter of Fortune) is a beguiling storyteller, and Zorro provides a rich palate for her customary embellishments. Recommended for all public libraries. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 1/05.]-Misha Stone, Seattle P.L. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A graceful imagining of the saber-wielding, justice-dispensing freedom fighter of yore. Children of the '50s may happily remember Guy Williams's TV portrayal of the legendary Zorro, who carved his signature initial into his enemies' flesh with the point of his sword and kept the entire Spanish army in Alta California busily searching for him. Latter-day Californian Allende (Kingdom of the Golden Dragon, 2004, etc.) provides a backstory that brims with modern concerns: In her hands, Zorro is an ever-so-slightly tormented revolutionary whose sense of justice comes from the accident of his birth. The child of a Spanish officer and a Shoshone Indian woman, Diego de la Vega grows up with a profound knowledge of the injustices wrought by Europeans on California's native peoples. He takes his vulpine identity-zorro is Spanish for "fox"-early on, after a fox delivers him from danger; says his grandmother, helpfully, "That zorro is your totemic animal, your spiritual guide. . . . You must cultivate its skill, its cleverness, its intelligence." He does, reaching adolescence "with no great vices or virtues, except for a disproportionate love of justice, though whether that is a vice or a virtue, I am not sure." A Rousseauian child of nature, de la Vega travels to Spain to acquire a continental education. Becoming radicalized in the bargain, he defies the country's Napoleonic rulers and joins an underground alliance to battle them, then takes the fight back to America. But first de la Vega must endure being shanghaied by pirates, who, neatly enough, haul him before the legendary uber-pirate Jean Lafitte for a parlay. He acquires yet more education in the bayous, then makes for California once more tovisit mayhem on corrupt officialdom on behalf of truth, justice and the Spanish way of life. Allende's tale risks but resists descending into melodrama at every turn. The up-to-date, even postmodern ending makes for a nice touch, too, and will gladden the heart of anyone ready in his or her heart to carve a few Zs into the bad guys.
People Magazine
"Equal parts adventure, historical novel and family saga, Zorro is a moving portrait of a hero who is heartbreakingly human."

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780060779009
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
04/25/2006
Series:
P.S. Series
Edition description:
REPRINT
Pages:
416
Sales rank:
347,811
Product dimensions:
5.31(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.93(d)
Lexile:
1170L (what's this?)
Age Range:
14 - 18 Years

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