Zorro

TOP TEN TUESDAY: Books That Take Place in Another Country

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s topic was made for me! I’m attempting to read a book from every country in the world before I’m 30, this is the Read the World Project, so I’ve read some great books that take place outside of the UK. Here are ten of my favourites I’ve read for that challenge and just generally.

Frangipani by Célestine Hitiura Vaite
I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned this book a lot now but it’s just so nice. Set in Tahiti, it’s about the relationship between a mother and daughter and their lives spanning about thirty years. It’s like an insight to a normal family’s life, it’s got the highs and lows but it’s also funny and never overly dramatic.

The Great Zoo of China by Matthew Riley
This book was like an action film playing in my head. Set in China, it’s revealed that scientists have actually created dragons, but of course, things don’t go to plan, nature can’t be controlled and the special guest have to survive when the dragons go on the rampage. It’s like Jurassic Park but with dragons and is a lot of fun.

Pachinko by Min Jin Lee
Set in South Korea and Japan, Pachinko follows one family through the generations and you get to see how their lives change, for the good and the bad, and time moves on and they are affected by some major historical events. (more…)

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REVIEW: Zorro by Isabel Allende

A child of two worlds – the son of an aristocratic Spanish gentleman and a Shoshone warrior woman – young Diego de la Vega cannot bear to see the brutal injustices the helpless face in late-eighteenth-century California. And so, a hero – skilled in swordplay and acrobatics and with a persona formed from the Old World and the New – the legend known as Zorro is born.

My knowledge of the character Zorro solely comes from the films starring Antonio Banderas, especially The Mask of Zorro (1998) so this was a nice insight into the potential origin story of the masked vigilante. In the original stories, Zorro was already a hero for the downtrodden, so this book is more about the boy who would become Zorro.

I really enjoyed the historical setting of this book. It spans from 1790-1815 and takes place in both California and Barcelona. I knew little about the history and politics of late-eighteenth/early-nineteenth century California and Spain, especially how the California was a Spanish territory and what happened to the Native American who lived there. The book is rich in the historical details without it ever really taking away from Diego’s story.

I enjoyed Zorro more as it progressed because you first see how Diego’s parents meet and I wasn’t too interested in that, but once Diego is born and you start to follow his adventures and how he slowly begins to learn about the good and evil in the world it became more interesting to me. Diego’s relationship with Bernardo, a boy who is more like his brother than a friend, is great because they have an almost telepathic connection. How their friendship develops over time is wonderful because Bernardo acts as a foil for Diego’s exuberance and his schemes probably wouldn’t be a success without Bernardo’s input.

The action, when it happens, is exciting and the sword fights are thrilling. Zorro is a mixture of a lot of different genres, family drama, romance, and action and adventure. The story is of Diego’s first twenty years and he fits a lot into them and it’s interesting to see that as he evolves, he is becoming the hero we’ve heard of before.

Zorro is a well-written story about an adventurous young man who is a purveyor of justice, destined to become a legend. It’s always fascinating to read an origin story of an almost mythic character and Isabel Allende does a brilliant job with this one. 4/5.

TOP 5 WEDNESDAY: Books You Didn’t Get to in 2017

Top 5 Wednesday is a great feature created by GingerReadsLainey and hosted by ThoughtsonTomes. To find out more about Top 5 Wednesday and the upcoming topics, check out its Goodreads page. This week it’s all about those books that we totally meant to read in 2017 but didn’t get around to it, so now they are a priority for 2018.

Zorro by Isabel Allende
I bought this when I was in San Francisco over two years ago now! I love The Mask of Zorro so I do want to read this version of the Zorro legend. I’ve got an extra reason to read it in 2018 though, as I’m taking part in the A-Z Reading Challenge and this is the only book I own that fits for the letter Z.

Flame in the Mist by Renée Ahdieh
I got this book from a subscription box. I meant to read it last year, it was even on my Autumn TBR, but that didn’t happen and now it’s a big priority this year. I’m pretty sure it’s going to be my next read once I’ve finished the books I’ve got from the library.

Nyxia by Scott Reintgen
I got this ARC copy in another subscription box last year. I hadn’t heard of it before then but the blurb made it sound really interesting and now one of my friends has read it and really enjoyed it, I definitely want to read it this year.

Raffles by E.W. Hornung
I’ve had this book (and many others from the Atlantic Books, Crime Classics editions) for a few years now and I want to get around to reading some of these. This is a, I believe, a collection of short stories and they’re all about a gentleman thief so I should be able to read it pretty quickly.

Raised from the Ground by José Saramago
This one hasn’t been on my shelf as long as the others – maybe only six months. It would be my Portugal read for my Read the World project and I do want to make my international reads a priority this year.

Do you have any books you definitely want to read in 2018?

TOP 5 WEDNESDAY: Books You Want to Read Before the End of the Year

Top 5 Wednesday is a great feature created by GingerReadsLainey and hosted by ThoughtsonTomes. To find out more about Top 5 Wednesday and the upcoming topics, check out its Goodreads page. So this week as we are nearing the end of summer, it’s time to have a look and see what books I really want to read before the end of 2016.

ZorroZorro by Isabel Allende
I love The Mask of Zorro staring Antonia Banderas so I really want to read an actual book about Zorro. This is kind of a biography and origin story for the legendary character and that sounds super interesting.

 

 

Slaughterhouse 5Slaughterhouse 5 by Kurt Vonnegut
This is a classic and a short one at that. I got it from a firend who was getting rid of a lot of his books as he was moving abroad so I nabbed this one as it’s one of those books I’d been meaning to read for ages. Plus, everyone I know who has read it loved it so that just makes me want to read it more.

 

FracturedFractured by Terri Terry
I read Slated earlier this year and really enjoyed it so straight away went and bought the two other books in the trilogy but I still haven’t read them. I want to at least read the second book Fractured by the end of the year and hopefully I’ll love it as much as Slated so I’ll just end up marathoning the rest of the trilogy.

 

HomegoingHomegoing by Yaa Gyasi
This is one of my more recent purchases. I’m trying to read more diversely and Homegoing has had a lot of good reviews. Plus, it’s got a pretty cover and it’s relatively short.

 

 

Persepolis ElenaSquareEyesPersepolis by Marjane Satrapi
This book has been on my shelves for over a year and it’s a graphic novel so it should be a quick read. I’ve heard nothing but good things about Persepolis and it’s a couple of my friends favourite books.

 

 

What books do you definitely want to try and read before the end of the year?

Zorro Reborn – a more original reboot/remake?

I’m not a huge fan of reboots and remakes – although saying that I will probably end up seeing half the films that are remakes/reboots in the cinema. I think it does depend on how much I loved the original material.

The thing I don’t like about remakes is when it has exactly the same story, setting and characters as the original and doesn’t add anything new or different. When this happens I wonder what the point is – one might as well watch the original if the only difference is not so great picture quality and special effects.

But then there comes along a remake of Zorro. Obviously there have been many different incarnations of the masked hero but the one that I always think of (and love) is 1998’s The Mask of Zorro staring Antonia Banderas and Anthony Hopkins as the title character and Catherine Zeta-Jones as the love interest. I have seen the film many times since I was a child and will near enough always watch it whenever it’s on TV. The 2005 sequel is enjoyable enough but I haven’t watched it as much.

When I first heard that there was going to be a remake of Zorro I was a little put out as, like I’ve said, I enjoy the 1995 film so much. However! Looking at the test footage trailer of Zorro Reborn, it looks as if this reboot/remake is going to be different. It appears as if it has the same essence of Zorro – protecting the oppressed people and fighting against corruption but it is put in a very different setting.

It’s set in the future with a descendent of Don Diego de la Vega becoming Zorro – so there’s no need to worry about comparing the new actor with Anthony Hopkins. It is a new environment, there’s new bad guys and new characters.

Everything appears to be new and different but the essense of Zorro  – the Robin Hood type character – is still the same. I think that’s all that really matters in a film about Zorro, if you get the costume and his actions right then really the setting can be as different as you like. Get the character right and you really don’t have to worry about the rest.

This is a reboot/remake that I am looking forward to if Fox green lights the film.

YouTube Link

The premise has a meteorite crashing into Earth in the future that destroys much of California and Mexico leaving it as a desert. After the dust settles, that same meteorite is discovered to be a supreme source of energy, which a new hostile corporation assumes. People begin flocking to New San Diego for work only to find out they’re now being oppressed. It is then that Alejandro Fox, a descendant of Don Diego de la Vega, the original Zorro, emerges as the hero that will answer the people’s cry for justice. – Source.