Prisoner of the Inquisition by Theresa Breslin

Challenge #5 ~ “A work of historical fiction.”


★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

My opinion in three sentences:

I may not have given it five stars, but I can see why it was a Carnegie nominee in its time. The literary standard in terms of description and prose was terrific, and it was clearly well-research in a historical context. However, I struggled with the protagonist Zanita, both in relating to her voice and understanding her character developments and motivations, which was problematic when half the book was told in her perspective.

(Without spoiling anything) the best bit:

Breslin’s portrayal of the context was phenomenal. I learned a lot about the Spanish Inquisition and Spanish politics at the time, but it didn’t have the feel of a book heavy with historical background. Instead, it was woven into the plot and dialogue such that it was a subtle, almost subliminal, history lesson.

A warning for the book:

Zarita, as a character, is not the easiest voice to engage the reader, particularly as little happens to her in terms of plot for the majority of the book. To keep the momentum going, I’d recommend finishing on a Saulo passage every time, as those sure leave you hanging on every word and unwilling to put the book down.

Recommended for fans of:

  • To The Tower Born by Robin Maxwell
  • Crusade by Elizabeth Laird
  • Captive Prince by C.S. Pacat

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