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La Espada Maldita (2012)

by Jon Courtenay Grimwood(Favorite Author)
3.22 of 5 Votes: 3
Alianza Editorial
The Assassini
review 1: I thought this book was very good. The story moved along quickly, several times I had to force myself to put it down and go to sleep.It is historical fiction, of an alternate Venice in the beginning of the 15th century. There was soo much intrigue, between most of the main characters who were trying to plot for their own gain, while simultaneously attempting to deceive each other and bring down their enemies.Enter Tycho, a boy who is brought to the city chained in a hidden, locked compartment on a ship. When the harbor master breaks into the compartment to see what is being smuggled, he frees the boy, who jumps overboard and escapes (while almost drowning in the process).Tycho has lost most of his memory. He gets some of it back in drips and drabs as the book progresses, w... morehile also realizing that he is not entirely human ... the sunlight hurts him, as does crossing rivers, and when the moon is full he feels compelled to drink people's blood. Sounds like a vampire to me, but thankfully this isn't a romance novel!The book follows Tycho; along with the Millioni, the ruling family of Venice; and Atilo, who is the leader of the Duke's private band of assassins, The Assassini.The descriptions are wonderful, and everything about this city draws you in. Lots of action during and after the characters are properly introduced. The fact that Tycho seems to be a vampire isn't a bad thing... for one, he's not even really sure who or what he is yet, also it is heavy on the gore & killing that being a vampire entails, not like some other vampires in literature lately ;) There is also a lot of magic involved, and not just Tycho's powers. The only bad thing I actively noticed was that sometimes the storyline becomes muddled, as characters are talking to themselves in their heads, or kind of thinking in a stream-of-consciousness style that the author will have the characters trail off on sometimes. It occasionally made it difficult to distinguish when one persons POV ended and another's began; or even when a particular scene was ending and a new one beginning. There were several times I had to go back and re-read passages because I thought I must have skipped a page, or at least a paragraph.So besides the occasional difficulty in reading smoothly, I really enjoyed this book. The suspense that the storyline creates makes it forgiveable. Also, after reading for a while, you begin to become used to the trailing off or abruptly switching sequences. I'd definitely recommend this for fans of historical fiction, fantasy, action-adventure, or supernatural books. I'm actually moving on to the 2nd book in the series right now!
review 2: (There may be teeny spoilers here) I really liked the character of Tycho- he was mysterious and amazing. Throughout the novel I was fascinated by him and his storyline!What I liked about this book was the darkness and the violence. There was no sugarcoating of the abuse the people went through in this novel, of the reactions people have to fear or death and most of all what powerful characters would do to anyone standing in the way of their ambitions. Even so I found it hard to be fully involved in the action scenes as a reader. I also found myself feeling sorry for Desdaio. She was in love, sacrificed all to be with this man, only to have him take another lover and then get pissed off with her just because he heard she was in another man's room. I know it was typical at the time, but I still found it hard to believe that this man was in love with her when he got to have lovers and she was expected to live with it. (I understand that was also typical at the time but still!!!)There was just so much objectified descriptions of women in this book I couldn't take it anymore. Regardless of it all, I'd still encourage people to read it! It's a refreshing twist on history. less
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Listened to this book (in the back of an MRAP): good story; jumpy plot
Enjoyable, but far from his best.
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