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, 1952 José María islike Europe itselfstruggling 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 José Marías memories come surging back.
And so our narrator begins his tale
It is 1937, in the thick of the Spanish Civil War. José María 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, José María 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 José María sell a sixteenth century text discovered in the Spanish Academys 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 soughtthe one most coveted by the Führeris the Creators 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 José María, for his own reasons.
Covering the most tumultuous and fascinating period of recent historyfrom the beginning of the Spanish Civil War to the end of World War IIThe Creators 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.)
An intricately plotted, compelling read that vividly conjures up the Rome of World War II.
Juan Gómez-Jurado, author of GOD'S SPY
"A narrative that combines the historical novel and the espionage thriller, with a dash of fashionably esoteric intrigue, it is likewise a story whose stylistic and thematic beauty surpasses the expectations of even the most demanding of readers... A feverish triangle of love and intrigue... The Creators Map is, in sum, a stunning work of fiction.
Sprinkled with historical facts and figures and beautiful descriptions of Rome.
NBD Biblion (Holland)
. A clever and original suspense novel.
Calderón takes the historical facts as a starting point and weaves existing legends and figments of his own imagination around it
. An intelligently written book with a surprising plot.
Leidsch Dagblad (Holland)
The Creators Map is an extremely successful debut. Calderons well- written
novel captivates the readers attention, is intriguing and on top of it instructive.
The Creators Map is a skillfully written spy novel that manages to sustain the suspense.
NRC Handelsblad (Holland)
" An intricately plotted, compelling read that vividly conjures up the Rome of World War II."
-Juan G=mez-Jurado, author of God's Spy
" A narrative that combines the historical novel and the espionage thriller . . . a story whose stylistic and thematic beauty surpasses the expectations of even the most demanding of readers . . . a stunning work of fiction."
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.