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/ Key title / Includes PS Section Bestselling author Isabel Allende's first adult novel since 'Portrait in Sepia' -- beautiful, disturbing and atmospheric. / 'Zorro' is Allende's first adult novel since 'Portrait in Sepia', and as such will attract tremendous coverage in national and regional press and magazines. / Isabel Allende is one of the top three bestselling authors on the planet. / 'Portrait in Sepia' has sold over 120,000 paperbacks to date in the UK alone.

About the Author

Isabel Allende was born in 1942, the cousin of Salvador Allende, who went on to become famous as the elected President of Chile deposed in a CIA-backed coup. She worked as a journalist, playwright and children's writer in Chile until 1974 and then in Venezuela until 1984. Her first novel for adults, 'The House of the Spirits', was published in Spanish in 1982, beginning life as a letter to her dying grandfather. It was an international sensation, and ever since all her books have been acclaimed and adored in numberless translations worldwide.


Allende's lively retelling of the Zorro legend reads as effortlessly as the hero himself might slice his trademark "Z" on the wall with a flash of his sword. Born Diego de la Vega in 1795 to the valiant hidalgo, Alejandro, and the beautiful Regina, the daughter of a Spanish deserter and an Indian shaman, our hero grows up in California before traveling to Spain. Raised alongside his wet nurse's son, Bernardo, Diego becomes friends for life with his "milk brother," despite the boys' class differences. Though born into privilege, Diego has deep ties to California's exploited natives-both through blood and friendship-that account for his abiding sense of justice and identification with the underdog. In Catalonia, these instincts as well as Diego's swordsmanship intrigue Manuel Escalante, a member of the secret society La Justicia. Escalante recruits Diego into the society, which is dedicated to fighting all forms of oppression, and thus begins Diego's construction of his dashing, secret alter ego, Zorro. With loyal Bernardo at his side, Zorro hones his fantastic skills, evolves into a noble hero and returns to California to reclaim his family's estate in a breathtaking duel. All the while, he encounters numerous historical figures, who anchor this incredible tale in a reality that enriches and contextualizes the Zorro myth. Allende's latest page-turner explodes with vivid characterization and high-speed storytelling. Agent, Gloria Gutierrez at Agencia Literaria Carmen Balcells (Spain). (May) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

'Beautiful and disturbing and profound!told in Allende's characteristically dizzying style.' Ian Sansom, Guardian 'Heroism doesn't come more mysterious or more dashing!Pacey and atmospheric, this is a tale of love, rivalry and the pursuit of justice.' Mail on Sunday 'The swashbuckling Zorro takes on new life in Allende's saga!never less than entertaining.' Margaret Walters, Sunday Times 'Isabel Allende leaves few swashes unbuckled as she gives Diego's saga a smooth, limpid flow. Highly entertaining.' Independent

Allende's retelling of Zorro displays her essential belief that the fabric of the story-the making of the man-is as important as the actions. Born to an aristocratic Spanish father and a tamed Shoshone warrior in 18th-century California, Diego de la Vega learns the lessons of injustice early. His mother's Indian blood and the violence perpetrated against the Native Americans by European settlers ignite a slow-burning fire in Diego. When Diego is sent to Barcelona with his "milk" brother Bernardo to be educated in the ways of his forebears, he studies with a fencing master and joins an underground resistance group, where Zorro the romantic revolutionary is truly forged. Allende's Zorro is not quite the violent, swashbuckling rogue that Johnston McCulley created in his serial potboilers, but this Zorro doesn't have to be for his character to be compelling. One does long for a little more swordplay, but Diego's crisis of identity, his relationship with Bernardo, and his love for a woman he cannot have make for enthralling reading. Allende (Daughter of Fortune) is a beguiling storyteller, and Zorro provides a rich palate for her customary embellishments. Recommended for all public libraries. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 1/05.]-Misha Stone, Seattle P.L. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

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