The Last Song
It is 1491, and 14-year-old Isabel has a happy life, in spite of the Inquisition raging around her in her home in Spain. Her father is physician to Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand, so no harm can come to Isabel and her wealthy, important family. Yet her father, who has promised he will not have her betrothed until she is fifteen, announces she is to be betrothed to a man who is positively loathsome. Isabel’s father explains the marriage will protect them from the Inquisition. Why would they need protection? Isabel discovers, although she has been raised Catholic, her family is really recently converted Jews, one group of people the Inquisition is seeking to convict and kill or drive from Spain.
Eva Wiseman has written a compelling story about this most difficult of times, but in such a way as to be an introduction the Inquisition to her young audience. The writing is lovely, the characters full and well-rounded, the setting realistic and memorable, and the story believable and fascinating. For fans of historical fiction, especially those in middle and high school, this is a wonderful way spend some time immersed in the Spanish Inquisition.
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