Penulis/Author: Isabel Allende (2005)
Penerbit/Publisher: Fourth Estate
Cetakan/Edition: 1, Paperback 2005
Those who are familiar with Allende’s books surely would know how great she is on building her story, on describing her characters and settings, and adding spices to her stories. Her books are always those that worth skipping some sleep :)
“Zorro: The Novel” is an epic journey of how Diego de La Vega encountered and trained his fox (zorro) personality. Being born from a hidalgo Spanish military father and an Indian warrior mother gave Diego the best of the two worlds, from European education, high class social contacts, the best swords skill to the sincere and dignified lifestyle of his Indian family with its magic potion and telephatic conversation. And whatever he has, whatever he learns, Diego will pass them on to his milk brother, Bernardo, who has a pure Indian blood and cannot access education and the whites’ priviledges as Don Diego.
“From his mother he had inherited his eyes and rebelliousness; from his father, long bones, chiseled features, natural elegance, and the love of learning” (page 70, para 2)
Regina (Diego’s mother) thought that at the age of 13 the boys are big enough to be a real man, so she sent Diego and Bernardo to a tough and intensive test in the jungle with the White Owl, Diego’s grandmother. At the conclusion of the test, which Diego actually thought he had failed, Diego was given the vision of a fox while Bernardo met an orphaned foal which he named Tornado.
Through the narration of Isabel de Rumeu, a very sympathetic friend of Diego and Bernardo, the story is told of how Diego starting to feel the cultural conflict betweet his Spanish and Indian blood, how he learnt that many injustice had been done to the Indians by the whites, and how he dealt with the feelings from inside. Apart from getting to know Diego from his home and closest people, the readers are also introduced to Diego’s first love, Diego’s process or learning and growing up, and of course Diego’s eternal enemy, Don Rafael Moncada. Diego turned out to be a decent man with some mischivous secrets but nothing violent or despicable.
It’s a long journey which intrigued lots of adventurous imagination. A few times the story come across very laughable and bear the same spirit like some scenes in “The Legend of Zorro” (2005). Funny, rich and adventorous: the novel throw a series of action from pirates to hypocrisy of the autocratics, from a secret society to the gypsy lives. Everything is awesome!