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The Creator's Mapby Emilio Calderon
Synopses & Reviews
Through the eyes of a Spanish architect in Rome, the dark period surrounding the rise and fall of Fascism roars to life, as the architect, a passionate young librarian, and an Italian prince become entangled in a web of intrigue, love, and deceit involving a fateful map whose secrets are powerful enough to destroy them.
Rome, 1952Â— JosĂ© MarĂa isÂ—like Europe itselfÂ—struggling to recover from the chaotic and character-defining events that transpired during the previous fifteen years, events that haunt him still. He and his wife, Montse, attempt not to dwell on their past, until the day they read about a mysterious death by decapitation of an old acquaintance, and JosĂ© MarĂ‛s memories come surging back.
And so our narrator begins his taleÂ… It is 1937, in the thick of the Spanish Civil War. JosĂ© MarĂa and Montse are two of a group of Spaniards thrown together, forced to wait out the war in refuge at the Spanish Academy in Rome. Unlike the rest of his compatriots, JosĂ© MarĂa has no strong feelings either way about the Fascist or Nationalist ideologies that are causing such bloodshed in his home country; it is only the beautiful and bookish Montse who ignites his passion. When Montse and JosĂ© MarĂa sell a sixteenth century text discovered in the Spanish Academ‛s forgotten library, they unwittingly become embroiled in an underground Nazi plot to collect mystic artifacts for the practice of the black arts. The most powerful artifact soughtÂ—the one most coveted by the FĂĽhrerÂ—is the Creato‛s Map, a legendary document depicting the power centers of the universe, said to be penned by God himself.
When the handsome and sinister Prince Junio, a wealthy Italian Fascist and Nazi sympathizer who is in pursuit of the map, appears to take a romantic interest in Montse, she is recruited to spy on him. As WWII blazes into full force, the idealistic Montse becomes more and more deeply involved in espionage, as does JosĂ© MarĂa, for his own reasons.
Covering the most tumultuous and fascinating period of recent historyÂ—from the beginning of the Spanish Civil War to the end of World War IIÂ—The Creato‛s Map brilliantly recreates the dark intrigue, romantic entanglements, and divided loyalties of a war-torn Europe. Long after the war is over, the destinies of these characters will continue to be shaped by the devastating repercussions of this tumultuous time.
"A Nazi quest for an ancient map pinpointing the source of black magic, Vatican spies and Spanish Civil War refugees in 1930s Rome fail to coalesce and pay off in Caldern's intriguing debut. In late 1937, Jose Maria Hurtado de Mendoza, an apolitical Spanish architectural student at Rome's Spanish Academy, is recruited by a mysterious antifascist organization called Smith (all its agents are 'Smith') to help search for the mystical Creator's Map, sought by the Nazis to aid in evildoing. He soon finds himself part of a love triangle with Montse, a beautiful young Spanish refugee, and Prince Junio Valerio Cima Vivarini, a Venetian paleographer secretly working with the SS. While Jose attempts to survive in fascist Italy and Germany, where he goes to work as an architect of bunkers and fortifications, the map's mystical qualities are relegated to the background. An ingenious denouement, set in 1952 and narrated in epistolary fashion by one character from beyond the grave, doesn't make up for the fact that Jose remains a passive and oftentimes peripheral figure in his own less than dramatic story. (July)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
A beautiful librarian pursued by the Nazis must protect a mysterious document said to be penned by God's own hand
Emilio Calderón is a true master of the historical novel, able to infuse a specific time and place with clarion detail and an aura of magic. In The Creator's Map, he vividly re-creates the shadowy schemes, romantic entanglements, and divided loyalties of a Europe torn apart by World War II. Told from the perspective of José María, a Spanish architect in Rome, The Creator's Map brings to life the harrowing days surrounding the rise and fall of fascism as he, along with a passionate young librarian and an Italian prince, become entangled in a web of intrigue, love, and deceit involving a fateful map whose secrets have the power to destroy them.
About the Author
Emilio Calderón is a historian, editor, and author. He is the founder of Editorial Cirene, a publishing house in Spain. In 1995 he began writing young adult fiction. In 2003, Calderón received the Valle-Inclán Fellowship of the Spanish Royal Academy in Rome. The result was his first novel for adults, The Creator’s Map, the translation rights to which have been sold in more than twenty countries.
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