Monday, November 11, 2013

Bibliophile's Corner

The Apprentice's Masterpiece:
A Story of Medieval Spain
by Melanie Little

Amazon Description:
Fifteenth-century Spain is a richly multicultural society in which Jews, Muslims, and Christians coexist. But under the zealous Christian Queen Isabella, the country abruptly becomes one of the most murderously intolerant places on Earth.

It is in this atmosphere that the Benvenistes, a family of scribes, attempt to eke out a living. The family has a secret - they are conversos: Jews who converted to Christianity. Now, with neighbors and friends turned into spies, fear hangs in the air.

One day a young man is delivered to their door. His name is Amir, and he wears the robe and red patch of a Muslim. Fifteen-year-old Ramon Benveniste broods over Amir's easy acceptance into the family.

Startling and dramatic events overtake the household, and the family is torn apart. One boy becomes enslaved; the other takes up service for the Inquisitors. Finally, their paths cross in a stunningly haunting scene.

My Thoughts:
After extensive research, Ms. Little created a beautifully-written novel in verse set amidst one of the most turbulent times in world history. It is upon the backdrop of the Spanish Inquisition that her story is set with its colorful and memorable characters. It is a poetic and poignant novel that will long linger in your mind. I would highly recommend The Apprentice's Masterpiece: A Story of Medieval Spain to readers who enjoy historical fiction, poetry, or who are advocates for tolerance.

To learn more about the award-winning author, Melanie Little,
click here:


  1. Wow, this sounds like my kind of book. I love books about Spain, and I love historical fiction. Thanks for a good review that has piqued my interest!

  2. At first I wasn't sure if this was fiction or non-fiction. Sounds like an amazing book. I have a friend who wrote a book about this family and conversos Jews. I should pass this recommendation on.

    1. It is historical fiction, Sara. I have recommended this wonderful book to a couple of friends already. Thanks!