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Zorro is every bit as legendary as the Three Musketeers. This crafty eighteenth-century revolutionary is more than a swashbuckler; he’s also an early type of the mask-and-cape superhero with a secret identity (Zorro, in fact, was first invented as a new caped crusader for a 1919 pulp magazine). In this retelling, we get the origin story of colonial California’s very own Robin Hood. Diego de la Vega is the son of a wealthy Spanish officer and a beautiful Native American woman. Always conscious of his mixed heritage, young Diego witnesses first-hand the shameful inequalities native Californians (including his good friend Bernardo) suffer at the hands of the ruling Europeans. Diego is sent to Spain to complete his education and recruited to La Justica, a secret society dedicated to fighting the powers of oppression and injustice. When Diego returns to California to fight for the rights of the land and the people he loves, the legend of the masked avenger Zorro is born. Author Isabel Allende believes that the glory of this swashbuckler lies in the history behind the hero, everything from childhood dreams to duels with his fencing master to a desperate love affair. There are modern touches as well to endear us modern readers to the old-fashioned tale—social reform, class differences, and a richly detailed historical context that make us love this rapier-wielding, Z-slashing mystery man even more. Allende is a highly accomplished, award-winning, critically-acclaimed novelist, and with Zorro she’s all that and a rousing adventure story.
posted Jun 23, 2009 at 1:58PM
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Diego De la Vega
Grew up in California before moving to Spain; raised with his wet nurse's son, Bernardo and they become inseparable friends; joins a society that fights all forms of oppression; begins creating his alter ego known as "Zorro"; returns to California to reclaim his family's throne.
Raised with Diego; Become friends for life; returns to California with Diego.