Synopses & Reviews
"Stories come alive in this rousing historical fantasy, which is set against the backdrop of 15th-century Europe and Columbus's famous first voyage to the New World. Baltasar Infante has grown up listening to the stories of his Uncle Diego, including those of the legendary Moorish hero, Amir al-Katib. However, the 14-year-old boy is still unprepared to learn that not only is he al-Katib's son, but he's also a Storyteller a sorcerer capable of working magic through the old tales. With the sinister witch-hunting order of the Malleus Malificarum after him, Baltasar's only recourse is to run, joining the crew of the Santa MarÃa as it heads west, while hoping to find his long-missing father. As Baltasar explores his abilities, he gets caught up in a conflict between the Old World and the New. Newcomer Mlawski delivers a fast-paced coming-of-age adventure, respectfully evoking the complexities and cultural landscape of the period. She draws from a variety of sources, including Jewish and Biblical myth, offering an accessible, attention-grabbing story that seamlessly inserts its magical elements into historical fact. Ages 12 up. Agent: Jessica Regel, Jean V. Naggar Literary Agency. (Apr.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Baltasar Infante, a bookmaker's apprentice living in 1492 Spain, can weasel out of any problem with a good story. But when he awakes one night to find a monster straight out of the stories peering at him through his window, he's in trouble that even he can't talk his way out of. Soon Baltasar is captured by a mysterious arm of the Spanish Inquisition, the Malleus Maleficarum, that demands he reveal the whereabouts of Amir al-Katib, a legendary Moorish sorcerer who can bring myths and the creatures within them to life. Baltasar doesn't know where the man is--or that he himself has the power to summon genies and golems. Baltasar must escape, find al-Katib, and defeat a dreadful power that may destroy the world. As Baltasar's journey takes him into uncharted lands on Columbus's voyage westward, he learns that stories are more powerful than he once believed them to be--and much more dangerous.