Friday, August 13, 2010

Il Leone di Damasco - Emilio Salgari

In the second book of the series Muley and Leonor are married. They are in Candia checking on their lands in the island when news arrive that their young son has been kidnapped by Ali Pacha, the uncle of Haradja, one of the villains of the first book, and that Muley's father has been kidnapped by Haradja herself. Their problems are closely linked with the political situation of the time, the war that rages between Christians and Muslims and the power struggle that will end with the Battle of Lepanto.

They eventually manage to get Muley's father released but in what concerns their son Haradja and Ali Pacha are strong opponents and manage to thwart them in a fair combat. It will be during the battle that they finally manage to save Enzo, defeat the ottomans and plan the return to Venice. In the sequel to Capitan Tempesta, Leonor shares that spotlight with her husband. She is still a strong heroine, Muley readily admits that she is better with a sword than he is, but just not decisive as in the first book.

Through the novel Salgari makes us acquainted with such important men as Sebastian Veniero, D. Juan de Austria or Andrea Doria. The fictional characters move easily among the real ones and it's not difficult to imagine them in action. He embellishes the truth somewhat but his vivid descriptions are unforgettable and like in any good historical fiction novel we are left with the desire to know more about those events, those people and those places.

Grade: 5/5

And guess what? There's also a movie made of this one...

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