Our second book, “Prisoner of the Inquisition” by Teresa Breslin was a historical novel set in the era of the Spanish Inquisition and the exploratory voyages of Christopher Colombus. It is fast paced and begins with a harrowing scene of a woman being burnt at the stake for treason.
The story has two main characters – Zarita who is the spoilt daughter of the rich town’s magistrate. Saulo is the son of a peasant who is hanged by that magistrate and he seeks revenge on the family.
The majority of the girls in my group loved the book. Its simple language explained the history behind the Inquisition in a way that was easy to understand and inspired them to get on Wikipedia and find out more about it, and the instruments of torture used! In particular, they enjoyed the swashbuckling chapters of the sea voyage and the battle with pirates. At the same time the romance between Saulo and Zarita satisfied those who had been yearning for the Carnegie to present a Mills & Boons type of offering. They also recognised the moral that runs throughout that even your smallest action can set of a chain of reaction that has huge and devastating consequences for those around you.