Snippet: Yúfera’s “Last king of Tenerife”

Pedro L. Yúfera, El último rey de Tenerife [The last king of Tenerife], 2016, 592 p.

Publisher’s summary:

In 1474, Isabel I of Castile and her husband, Fernando, then king of Sicily and heir of the crown of Aragón, signed the Segovia Concordat. Both agreed in this treaty on the future government of the kingdoms, but a later confrontation between both monarchs let them to also secretly sign another document, that was hidden in a Valladolid monastery on decision of the cardinal Mendoza.

Twenty years later the document disappears from the monastery and the abbot charges Rodrigo, a soldier of fortune encloistered due to problems with the Inquisition, with recovering it. Besides, a dispute at the Valladolid chancellery about a possible fraud leads Gonzalo, a young and ambitious lawyer, to fall into a trap that originates his discredit and expulsion from the profession. Gonzalo moves to Seville and there, on behalf of a Genovese trader, he becomes a spy of the murky deals of Alonso Fernández de Lugo, to whom the kings have granted the command of the expedition to conquer the island of Tenerife.

It doesn’t take long before the paths of the novel’s principal protagonists cross -Rodrigo, the soldier searching for the royal document, and Gonzalo, the young guy expelled from the advocacy and converted into spy-, and together they embark on the dangerous and bloody adventure of the island’s conquest.

El último rey de Tenerife is a thrilling historical novel through which parade characters such as Guacimara, a beautiful Guanche [Tenerife aboriginal] princess, and Beatriz de Bobadilla, the beautiful and cruel mistress of Gomera, as well as great figures of the epoch, among them the very cardenal Mendoza, and his successor, the cardenal Cisneros, the duke of Medina Sidonia, and the young master of the military order of Calatrava, Rodrigo Téllez Girón.

With a clear and nice prose, Pedro L. Yúfera invites the reader to reflect on political power and its moves, and on the brutal extermination of the Guanche population as a result of the conquest, and at the same time he presents the battle of two men who confront their own past and who try to change the hardly flattering future that destiny seems to have in store for them.

“A historical novel of marked excellence, a beautiful reflection on human beings’ destiny.” (Juan Ángel Juristo, “Cultura/s”, La Vanguardia, Feb. 25, 2017, p.9)

Pedro L. Yúfera is a lawyer and this is his second novel.

Though a lover of history, this blogger’s “still to read list” is too long already to include this one…

SOURCE: Stella Maris (publisher)

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