Prisoner of the Inquisition appears to be aimed at the teen market, although there is plenty for older readers to enjoy too. It tells the story of Zarita, the daughter of the town magistrate, and Saulo, the son of a beggar. After being thrown together at the beginning of the story, they follow their own paths before meeting again.
Saulo is taken to be a slave at sea, and during this time we see his character shaped by the events which happen to him, and the people he meets – including Christopher Columbus. Meanwhile, Zarita experiences the Inquisition in her town, something which the author describes vividly.
At the base of this tale is a love story, but it’s surrounded by the historical events and issues. The length and pacing of the book are both good, and should appeal to teens with limited time. Other historical novels I’ve read and seen seem to be fairly long, where this is a more average length. It’s also very gripping, and difficult to put down. It should provide a good introduction to historical fiction, whilst also sparking an interest in further research about the facts and time-period described.
Paperback published by Corgi Childrens 31/3/2011