fp February 2008
The Apprentice's Masterpiece: a story of medieval Spain
from Annick Press...
Fourteenth-century Spain is a richly multicultural society in which Jews, Muslims, and Christians coexist. But under the zealous Christian Queen Isabella, the country abruptly becomes one of the most murderously intolerant places on Earth.
It is in this atmosphere that the Benvenistes, a family of scribes, attempt to eke out a living. The family has a secret - they are conversos: Jews who converted to Christianity. Now, with neighbours and friends turned into spies, fear hangs in the air.
One day a young man is delivered to their door. His name is Amir, and he wears the robe and red patch of a Muslim. Fifteen-year-old Ramon Benveniste broods over Amir’s easy acceptance into the family.
Startling and dramatic events overtake the household, and the family is torn apart. One boy becomes enslaved, the other takes up service for the Inquisitors. Finally, their paths cross again in a stunningly haunting scene.
Melanie Little has crafted a brilliant and elegantly written story in verse about one of the most politically complex and troubling times in human history - the Spanish Inquisition. Drawing on intensive research, Little creates memorable characters, potently captures the turbulent events of the period, and emblazons horrific images on readers’ minds. It is the work of a master.
If you have read this verse novel and would like to share your opinion of it with other readers please send your review or comments to YARR-A