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
maternal grandmother, White Owl, the ways of her tribe while receiving from
his father lessons in the art of fencing and in cattle branding. It is here,
during Diego's childhood, filled with mischief and adventure, that he
witnesses the brutal injustices dealt Native Americans by European settlers
and first feels the inner conflict of his heritage.
At the age of sixteen, Diego is sent to Barcelona for a European
education. In a country chafing under the corruption of Napoleonic rule,
Diego follows the example of his celebrated fencing master and joins La
Justicia, a secret underground resistance movement devoted to helping the
powerless and the poor. With this tumultuous period as a backdrop, Diego
falls in love, saves the persecuted, and confronts for the first time a
great rival who emerges from the world of privilege.
Between California and Barcelona, the New World and the Old, the persona
of Zorro is formed, a great hero is born, and the legend begins. After many
adventures -- duels at dawn, fierce battles with pirates at sea, and
impossible rescues -- Diego de la Vega, a.k.a. Zorro, returns to America to
reclaim the hacienda on which he was raised and to seek justice for all who
cannot fight for it themselves.
San Antonio Express-News Zorro reads like classic 19th-century literature . . . Remarkably, Diego is no cardboard hero checked out from central casting; Allende has skillfully rounded his corners, nuanced him and breathed life into him . . . Allende's vivid reimagining of the Zorro legend will make you want to pick up a sword and start slashing your initials into the nearest available bad guy. This rollicking adventure yarn is that much fun, chock-full of romance and heroism, a swashbuckling read . . . More old-fashioned, rip-roaring storytelling than you can shake a sword at.
One of those rare and perfect matches of subject and author... Sinfully entertaining ... Serious fiction.
The Washington Post - 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.
Starred Review. Allende's latest page-turner explodes with vivid characterization and high-speed storytelling.
Booklist - Brad Hooper
Starred Review. Allende's mesmerizing narrative voice never loses timbre or flags in either tension or entertainment value. To describe her as a clever novelist is to signify that she is both inventive and intelligent.
Library Journal - Misha Stone
Allende is a beguiling storyteller, and Zorro provides a rich palate for her customary embellishments. Recommended for all public libraries.
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.
Recent Reader Reviews
Rated of 5
by Brielle Exciting!!!! I really loved this book!! It was a really good mix of adventure, romance, and humor, with enough history for it to qualify as historical fiction (so it works for school). I loved it!!! I definitely recommend it!!!
Rated of 5
by David Brings together most Zorro ideas Like Robin Hood, Zorro is a story that almost everyone knows, but few have read. The original book by Johnston McCulley is out of print and available in very few libraries. The Mark of Zorro 1920 with Douglas Fairbanks is very true to the book.... Read More
Rated of 5
by Faith The best story Zorro is an awesome book/movie.
I had a book charter day and I dressed up as him.
This book is just like movie but better.
Eveyone should read this you can't stop its just sooooooo good!
READ IT! IT'S AWSOME!
Rated of 5
by Candice Excellent, but I wanted more I love Zorro and the stories surrounding Zorro. When I started this book I was very excited and I loved the way the author handled the beginnings of Zorro. However, being a diehard Zorro fan I wanted to know more of the story involving Esparanza.... Read More
Allende was approached by John Gertz, who owns the rights to Zorro, to write a
literary book about the famous character. Gertz's father had bought the
rights to Zorro from McCulley in 1920 and, in conjunction with Disney, had
developed Zorro into a TV series, comic book and feature film. When Gertz
Jr bought the rights back it occurred to him that Zorro had never been portrayed
in a 'serious' work of literature, so he started searching for a writer to hire
- someone who knew California well, could think in Spanish and had a track
record in historical research.
Initially Allende brushed him off but rather than take no for an answer Gertz
left her with a boxful of artefacts - tapes of old movies, comics etc, and so
Allende says, "I fell in love again with Zorro .... because I had been in love
with him when I was a child. He's the father of Batman and Superman. He's the
father of all the action heroes with the double personality. Most of those guys
have magic tricks. Zorro has only his own...
The first in a new series by the author of The Club Dumas , set in 17th Century Spain. Captain Alatristee earns his living as a swordsman-for-hire, but when he's commissioned to murder two travelers by a member of the Spanish Inquisition he finds himself involved in a plot with implications that will reverberate throughout the courts...
Zelikman and Amran are escorting a young prince to reclaim his usurped throne. Getting there along a path paved with warriors and whores, evil emperors and extraordinary elephants, secrets, swordplay, and such stuff as the grandest adventures are made of will be much more than half the fun.
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