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The Apprentice's Masterpiece: A Story of…

The Apprentice's Masterpiece: A Story of Medieval Spain

by Melanie Little

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756227,158 (3.64)3



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Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
Excellent historical fiction set during the Spanish Inquisition. ( )
  Sullywriter | Apr 3, 2013 |
The metaphor with the falcon and Amir is spectacular. This book isn’t a “light” read, nor is it one that someone looking for something cheerful would read. It is well thought out and has some impressive messages. I don’t normally read books like this, and I was pleased. It wasn’t disappointing so much as you need a lot of previous knowledge to FULLY understand it. Also, Amir and Ramon tend to repeat themselves very frequently – the same information is given over and over with just slightly different wording each time. It was tiresome. We had to choose an independent novel for class and this jumped out at me because this particular copy had a spiral binding. After pulling it out and seeing that it was written in free-verse, I decided – why not? AHS/EK
  edspicer | May 19, 2010 |
While this is historically quite educational, the voice doesn't sound true. Told in verse first by a boy in Spain whose family converted to Christianity from Judaism during the Spanish Inquisition, then by a Muslim boy, it introduces the reader to the terror and hopelessness of the conversos (converts) and non-Christians at the time before all non-Christians were ultimately tossed out of Spain. Although the Muslim boy, Amir, is supposed to be brave and noble while the converso boy, Ramon, is more cowardly, neither's distinct personality comes through. However, this book is a fine introduction to Spain and Christianity's terrible history during the Inquisition. ( )
  ChristianR | Mar 27, 2009 |
Ramon and his Papa are scribes, struggling to make a living throughout the Spanish Inquisition, a massacre brought on by a radical Christian, Queen Isabella. But when Papa is given a slave, Amir, secrets and jealousy threaten to burn their way through the family. Eventually Amir and Ramon take to different paths—paths more complicated with harsh reality than they could imagine. Amir struggles merely to survive, and Ramon is torn between conscience and duty.
The Apprentice’s Masterpiece was my first foray into the world of novels written in verse. To be honest, I was very skeptical of a book written like poetry, but after just the first page of Masterpiece, any skepticism flew out the window. It is hard to describe, but novels in verse have an innate ability, I believe, to delve deeper into characters than any other novel. It brings a certain amount of passion and reality that would seem awkward in normally written novels. Now, this may just be a result of Little’s writing, but from what I’ve heard of another book like this, Far From You, the flow an ease of every story in verse is almost inescapable. You can easily read it fast just for the story, or you can read it slowly, admire the poetic style, and get even more from the story.

Now, I was interested about the Spanish Inquisition, which drew me to the book in the first place (well, that, and the brilliant cover). It surpassed all my expectations, and I feel like I’ve glimpsed a bit of life in that era. Melanie Little also gives a quick summary of the Spanish Inquisition at the beginning (which you don’t have to read, but its very helpful and makes the story more realistic) if you’re interested in that time period.

I couldn’t really summarize the plot very well, as the story more internal than physical, but let me tell you: you’ll still be hooked. No action needed, though there is still some excitement. Masterpiece is also quirky in places; the sarcasm of Amir and Ramon will make you laugh :) ( )
  EmilyRuth | Mar 2, 2009 |
Ramon is the son of a scribe in fifteenth century Spain. His family are conversos - Jews that converted to Christianity generations ago but are still suspect under Queen Isabella's Inquisition. Amir is a Muslim slave, given to Ramon's father as a gift. As the story unfolds, Amir's and Ramon's stories will intertwine in ways they would never have predicted.

Rich with historical detail, this novel in verse shows the Spanish Inquisition through the eyes of two very different boys. A prologue and epilogue contain background information on the Inquisition. Recommended for fans of historical fiction.

Read more on my blog:
http://abbylibrarian.blogspot.com/2008/11/book-review-apprentices-masterpiece.ht... ( )
  abbylibrarian | Nov 9, 2008 |
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Tells the story of two teenage boys, one a converso and the other a Muslim, living in Spain during the Inquisition as their lives take very different paths when one is enslaved and the other is brought into the service of the Inquisitors.

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Annick Press

2 editions of this book were published by Annick Press.

Editions: 1554511178, 1554511909

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