The Apprentice's Masterpiece: A Story of Medieval Spain

The Apprentice s Masterpiece A Story of Medieval Spain Fifteenth century Spain is a richly multicultural society in which Jews Muslims and Christians coexist But under the zealous Christian Queen Isabella the country abruptly becomes one of the most mur

  • Title: The Apprentice's Masterpiece: A Story of Medieval Spain
  • Author: Melanie Little
  • ISBN: 9781554511174
  • Page: 249
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Fifteenth century Spain is a richly multicultural society in which Jews, Muslims and Christians coexist But under the zealous Christian Queen Isabella, the country abruptly becomes one of the most murderously intolerant places on Earth.It is in this atmosphere that the Benvenistes, a family of scribes, attempt to eke out a living The family has a secret they are conversoFifteenth century Spain is a richly multicultural society in which Jews, Muslims and Christians coexist But under the zealous Christian Queen Isabella, the country abruptly becomes one of the most murderously intolerant places on Earth.It is in this atmosphere that the Benvenistes, a family of scribes, attempt to eke out a living The family has a secret they are conversos Jews who converted to Christianity Now, with neighbours and friends turned into spies, fear hangs in the air.One day a young man is delivered to their door His name is Amir, and he wears the robe and red patch of a Muslim Fifteen year old Ramon Benveniste broods over Amir s easy acceptance into the family.Startling and dramatic events overtake the household, and the family is torn apart One boy becomes enslaved the other takes up service for the Inquisitors Finally, their paths cross again in a stunningly haunting scene.Melanie Little has crafted a brilliant and elegantly written story in verse about one of the most politically complex and troubling times in human history the Spanish Inquisition Drawing on extensive research, Little creates memorable characters, captures the turbulent events of the period, and emblazons horrific images on readers minds It is the work of a master.

    One thought on “The Apprentice's Masterpiece: A Story of Medieval Spain”

    1. "Young boysbelieve falcons are noble. They are, after all, kept by kings. But here's how they train such a bird. Tie its feet to a stick.Strap leather blinders upon its poor eyes. When these come off, it has forgotten the whole notion of freedom." Very well researched, and written entirely in verse, "The Apprentice's Masterpiece: A story of Medieval Spain" told a realistic and heart-wrenching story of persecution during the Spanish Inquisition. Despite the poetic verse, the plot progressed rathe [...]

    2. Fifteenth-century Spain is one of the most enlightened cultures on record - one in which Jews, Muslims, and Christians coexist within an atmosphere of respect. Then the zealous Queen Isabella enacts policies that put an abrupt end to the peace. Violence, mistrust, and intolerance shadow everyone as the Spanish Inquisition takes shape. In this fear-filled atmosphere, fifteen-year-old scribe Ramon Benveniste must hide the family's secret. They are conversos: Jews converted to Christianity.One day [...]

    3. This is a haunting tale of two boys living in Spain during the dark and dangerous times of the Spanish Inquisition. The first, Ramon, is a scribe like his father. Together father and son eke out a meager living by lovingly, painstakingly copying the words of others. But paper, like so many things, grows scarcer with each passing day. Finding paper is particularly difficult for Ramon and his father because they are conversos, Christians whose ancestors converted from Judaism to Christianity on pa [...]

    4. MINOR SPOILERS AHEAD!I’m a sucker for a story in verse. There’s something about combining two written art forms into one compelling story that I can’t say no to. The Apprentice’s Masterpiece by Melanie Little is one such masterpiece itself. The verse almost lends itself to the story, all flowing together into one story as a whole but being able to be broken down into individual stories by both section and verses. Because of this it is easy to put down if you have to, but just as easy to [...]

    5. I woke up this morning, wide awake, but not wanting to rise yet. So I decided that it was time to pull "The Apprentice's Masterpiece" off of the shelf. I thought I'd read a few pages, wanting to read this book but after discovering that the story was written not only in verse but actually broken up into small poems, I thought the flow would be forced, unnatural to me, and that it would be several days taking it one poem at a time before I'd mark this book as "read". Little did I know that I woul [...]

    6. I picked this up because it's in a setting I became familiar with through Guy Gavriel Kay's _Lions of Al-Rassan_: the Spanish Inquisition, just after the enlightened period of fifteenth-century Spain, when Jews, Muslims, and Christians lived together in peace.The prologue explains the history in detail, which annoyed me at first. Why not simply incorporate all this into the story? Then I started reading the introductory (or so I thought) poem, and then I realized that the entire book was written [...]

    7. It is 1485, and Ramon and his family, living in Cordoba, Spain, live in constant fear of arrest. The Holy Office of the Spanish Inquisition is intently searching for those who are not strictly following the catholic faith. Refusing to eat pork, smiling at a virgin Mary statue, or changing into clean clothes at the end of the week could bring accusations of heresey, arrest, torture or death. Ramon's family were once Jewish, but now carefully follow all rules enforced by the Catholic church. Ramon [...]

    8. This novel in verse follows two teen boys in 15th Century Spain. They are both scribes, apprentices to one’s father. The father and son are conversos, Jews who have converted to Christianity to avoid the Inquisition. The second teen, an Arabic Muslim, is brought home by the father, who wishes to learn Arabic writing from him. The times are bad for non-Christians, and the boys fight and fall out, and then travel around Spain, one working for the Inquisition as a scribe, the other as a slave, ev [...]

    9. Ramon is the son of a scribe in fifteenth century Spain. His family are conversos - Jews that converted to Christianity generations ago but are still suspect under Queen Isabella's Inquisition. Amir is a Muslim slave, given to Ramon's father as a gift. As the story unfolds, Amir's and Ramon's stories will intertwine in ways they would never have predicted. Rich with historical detail, this novel in verse shows the Spanish Inquisition through the eyes of two very different boys. A prologue and ep [...]

    10. The story takes place in Spain during the dark age of the inquisition. The protagonists are two teenage boys who where born into a life of hardship and cruelty.This book sort of opened my eyes and awoke my interest for the hidden history behind the "tourist attractions".It was a good decision to take this book along with me during my trip to Andalusia and somehow it became more to me than just a vacation-reading.While walking through the streets of Córdoba and Malaga you get to see some of the [...]

    11. Historical fiction set in the Spanish Inquisition, a rare topic (although the same as Alice Hoffman's Incantation, which I think was also 2008?)I agree with the other review that said having to give the history of the Inquisition before the book starts either says the novel isn't good enought to tell us or the subject is too hard for its potential audience to grasp. Ultimately I thought it was an interesting exercise, but not as accessible as another historical novel in verse about a little know [...]

    12. Who on earth thought this cover was enticing? And for a young adult book? Shame on you. Nothing says "blah" quite like a book cover done in shades of baby poo. Add a creepy bird and too-small text, and BAM! You've got a truly ugly cover.

    13. Great subject matter, but I feel as though the verse format robbed the story of any real emotion. It felt stilted an unnecessary. Unfortunate, because it's a great story, and I probably would've given it more stars.

    14. Historical fiction about the Spanish Inquisition during the reign of Ferdinand and Isabella. A YA novel written in free verse, so it's a quick read! Shows that religious intolerance has been around for a long timet limited to one creed or era.

    15. I absolutely adore this book, and in my opinion the prose renders the story even more beautiful. The story has a nice flow and wonderful characters.

    16. Interesting and fairly quick, smooth read for verse. I liked how it depicted the horrors of the Spanish Inquisition through two young persons' points of view.

    17. Well written, but I feel like part of the story got lost when the narrators shifted from Ramon to Amir and then back again.

    18. I feel angry. The Inquisition of Spain in the 15th century is a terrible period in the history of the Europe. Certainly for the church. How can such a thing be put into being when it so clearly goes against the teachings of Jesus? A yet it did.This book tells two stories.

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