HarperCollins Publishers, Hardcover, 9780060778972, 390pp.
Publication Date: May 3, 2005
A swashbuckling adventure story that reveals for the first time how Diego de la Vega became the masked man we all know so well
Born in southern California late in the eighteenth century, he is a child of two worlds. Diego de la Vega's father is an aristocratic Spanish military man turned landowner; his mother, a Shoshone warrior. Diego learns from his maternal grandmother, White Owl, the ways of her tribe while receiving from his father lessons in the art of fencing and in cattle branding. It is here, during Diego's childhood, filled with mischief and adventure, that he witnesses the brutal injustices dealt Native Americans by European settlers and first feels the inner conflict of his heritage.
At the age of sixteen, Diego is sent to Barcelona for a European education. In a country chafing under the corruption of Napoleonic rule, Diego follows the example of his celebrated fencing master and joins La Justicia, a secret underground resistance movement devoted to helping the powerless and the poor. With this tumultuous period as a backdrop, Diego falls in love, saves the persecuted, and confronts for the first time a great rival who emerges from the world of privilege.
Between California and Barcelona, the New World and the Old, the persona of Zorro is formed, a great hero is born, and the legend begins. After many adventures -- duels at dawn, fierce battles with pirates at sea, and impossible rescues -- Diego de la Vega, a.k.a. Zorro, returns to America to reclaim the hacienda on which he was raised and to seek justice for all who cannot fight for it themselves.
“This is a full-blooded retelling of the old masked-man legend, and it crackles with action.”
-Fort Worth Star-Telegram
“A tale of adventure, history and romance, just in time for long reads on summer afternoons.”
“Lively and fascinating.”
“Allende is a beguiling storyteller, and Zorro provides a rich palate for her customary embellishments.”
“Equal parts adventure, historical novel and family saga, Zorro is a moving portrait of a hero who is heartbreakingly human.”
“One of those rare and perfect matches of subject and author... Sinfully entertaining ... Serious fiction.”
“Allende’s discreetly subversive talent really shows . . . You turn the pages, cheering on the masked man.”
-Los Angeles Times
“Zorro is great fun . . . A thrilling journey into a world in which cultures clash as often as swords.”
“Wonderfully crafted . . . Allende gives Zorro the feel of a folk or fairy tale.”