I received a free copy of The Inquisitor’s Niece for my honest opinion.
Publisher: Bygone Era Books, Ltd. (March 31, 2016)
Category: Historical Fiction
Tour Date: May/June, 2016
Available in: Print & ebook, 394 Pages
The path of true love never runs straight. Alonso and Luisa love each other, However there are a few obstacles to their happiness: the husband she was forced to marry; her uncle, the Regent of Spain; and Alonso’s Jewish family. Mix in the meddlesome Natale, whose loyalty is always to the highest bidder, and you have a story of a courageous couple determined to be happy together, despite the cards being stacked against them.
Using the tumultuous period of Spain immediately following the deaths of Ferdinand and Isabella as her canvas, Erika Rummel paints a portrait of an era where Cardinals hold supreme power, Jews are forcibly converted to Christianity, and the spies of the Inquisition are everywhere.
Praise for Head Games by Erika Rummel
“Head Games is a unique and entertaining adventure with heart. There are the thrills of the adventure itself and we get to see the depth of the characters as they experience their fast paced South American quest. The story felt new and fresh!”-Valerie Mitchell, Mama Likes This
“This is a fast paced page turner. A suspenseful, thrilling roller coaster ride with lots of twisty, loopy sections. Head Games is an apt title for this enthralling read. “- Joy Renee, Joy Story
“Identity’s a big theme in this work, so if you’ve ever felt you were someone other than yourself, if you thought you might like to try living in someone else’s skin, if you’ve wondered whether your friends and loved ones were not exactly who they claimed to be, then this psychological labyrinth might just be your winding road to a good read”.- Carole Giangrande, Words to Go
About Erika Rummel
Erika Rummel is the author of more than a dozen non-fiction books and three novels: ‘Playing Naomi’, ‘Head Games’, ‘The Inquisitor’s Niece’.
She won the Random House Creative Writing Award (2011) for a chapter from ‘The Effects of Isolation on the Brain’, which is forthcoming. She is the recipient of a Getty Fellowship and the Killam Award.
Erika grew up in Vienna, emigrated to Canada and obtained a PhD from the University of Toronto. She taught at Wilfrid Laurier and U of Toronto. She divides her time between Toronto and Los Angeles and has lived in Argentina, Romania, and Bulgaria.
THE INQUISITOR’S NIECE,
Excerpt 2 (see Excerpt one at http://saphsbookblog.blogspot.com/
Public executions were popular. The people milling around the plaza were in a holiday spirit, merry and boisterous. Boys were hawking chestnuts, dried fruit and sugared almonds. A band of blind musicians was playing their guitars. A juggler performed tricks with coloured balls. A harlot was sidling up to Alonso, looking for business, brushing his arm, giving him flirtatious looks. She smiled at him with more than professional interest perhaps, because he was young and handsome and had passion in his eyes, even if his bearing was grave as became a practitioner of medicine. The crowd was waiting impatiently for the spectacle to begin and jostled for the best spots from which to see the execution. They eagerly made way for the cart carrying the condemned men, an old Jew and two youths, his sons presumably, bareheaded and shirtless, their backs bloodied by the lash, their hands and feet shackled. They were transported in an open cart for all to see, to vilify, curse and spit on.
There was excitement in the air as the guards began to drag the heretics to the pyre and tie them to the stake. The executer put a torch to the kindling, and a joyful shout went up from the crowd. For a moment the cheers and jeers drowned out the agonized shrieks of the men at the stake. The crowd watched them writhing as the smoke and the licking flames enveloped their bodies, and the fumes and the pain overcame first the old man and then his companions. Their bodies slackened, the roaring fire ate through the ropes that tied them to the stake, and they dropped to the ground. For a while an updrift of air made it look as if they were waving their limbs in desperation, then the bodies turned into a darkly glowing heap, shapeless lumps seen through a curtain of fire.
The flames had hardly died down before souvenir-seekers started raking the hot ashes for keepsakes and carried off the bones to grind up and hawk as magic powder. Alonso watched them in cold horror. The spectacle made his skin crawl. It was an evil omen. Was this the fate awaiting his father?
Two months ago, Alonso had made his way through the crowded market square of Seville, when he felt a tug on his sleeve. He turned and saw an old Arab standing behind him. He recognized the man as a friend of his father’s and was about to greet him, but the Arab’s eyes flashed an eloquent warning. He slipped a letter into Alonso’s hand and quickly walked away through the throng. Heeding the man’s silent warning, Alonso concealed the letter under his cloak and hurriedly walked home. When he reached the safety of his house, he unfolded the single sheet. It bore neither address nor signature, but Alonso recognized the handwriting of his father. “I have been cited before the tribunal of the Inquisition,” the note said. “I have good hopes of fending off the charges of keeping an underground synagogue, but lie low in the meantime and do not write to us until you hear from me again. Remember, a Jew has no friends among Christians. Trust no one.”
No news had reached Alonso from Las Palmas since he had received that letter. Perhaps he should make discreet inquiries through Natale. Trust no one, his father had written. No one? Nor even a fellow scholar? Surely Natale would not turn on him. Surely he would not blame him for worrying about his family. No one could twist a son’s love for his father into an act of heresy, or could he?
This excerpt continues at http://www.whatutalkingboutwillis.com/on June 1st.
The Inquisitor’s Niece takes place in a dark time in Spain’s history – that period when the Jews who were forced to convert to Catholicism were still hunted and spied upon. No matter what they did they were not trusted. In this case Alonso is a converted Jew and he is a doctor. He learns his father has fallen under investigation by the Inquisition and he needs to go and see what he can do because part of the punishment extends to the family and Alonso could lose his profession. He learns of the investigation from a Franciscan priest named Natale who purports to be his friend but is he?
Luisa and Alonso are in love but there is much to keep them apart – she is married for one thing. It was a forced marriage but it still does present a slight problem. There is also the mild air of suspicion that always hangs over Alonso no matter what he says or does. And always the “help” from Natale but that comes at a cost. Sometimes that cost is more than the material. The worst of the church is represented here to be sure.
This was a book that grabbed me from the start. It’s a period in history that offered much to the world but also had some of man’s darkest moments. Due to that it does provide rich material for a novelist and Ms. Rummel does an excellent job of taking her reader on a dangerous journey through the twists and turns of what many faced during the time. The characters are well developed and defined. The scenes are well described and I found myself feeling like I was actually walking the streets with the characters of the book.
This is a good read with twists along the way that keep the reader engaged and involved.
One lucky US reader will win a copy of The Inquisitor’s Niece. Just enter as many ways as you would like on the Gleam widget below. Full rules are on the widget. Good luck everyone!
Buy Inquisitor’s Niece by Erika Rummel
Follow Inquisitor’s Niece by Erika Rummel Book Tour
Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus May 20 Kick off & Extra Giveaway
SolaFide Book Club May 23 Guest Post
Deal Sharing Aunt May 25 Review
Sapphyria’s Book Reviews May 26 Excerpt
Broken Teepee May 27 Review, Excerpt & Extra Giveaway
What u Talking Bout Willis? June 1 Excerpt
Book Talk With Alana June 3 Review & Interview
Celticlady’s Reviews June 6 Excerpt
Lisa’s Writopia June 8 Review & Interview
Words and Peace June 9 Interview
Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus June 10 Review