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Publisher's Summary

In this gripping historical thriller set in 16th-century Spain, a Catholic priest is murdered by a mysterious Muslim avenger as the Inquisition continues to force Moriscos to live and worship as Christians.

In March 1584, the priest of Belamar de la Sierra, a small town in Aragon near the French border, is murdered in his own church. Most of the town's inhabitants are Moriscos, former Muslims who converted to Catholicism. Anxious to avert a violent backlash on the eve of a royal visit, an adviser to King Philip II appoints local magistrate Bernardo de Mendoza to investigate. A soldier and humanist, Mendoza doesn't always live up to the moral standards expected of court officials, but he has a reputation for incorruptibility.

From the beginning Mendoza finds almost universal hatred for the priest. And it isn't long before he's drawn into a complex and dangerous world in which greed, fanaticism, and state policy overlap. And as the killings continue, Mendoza's investigation is overshadowed by the real prospect of an ethnic and religious civil war.

By turns an involving historical thriller and a novel with parallels to our own time, The Devils of Cardona is an unexpected and compelling listen.

©2016 Matthew Carr (P)2016 Penguin Audio

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • gail
  • Plainfield, VT, United States
  • 08-25-16

Great history; too much swashbuckling

Fascinating historical and geographical setting for this book. Too many battles with last minute miraculous saves, but generally really interesting way to learn about a little known time and place of Spanish history

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Melvin
  • PALMDALE, CA, United States
  • 08-05-16

Wow! Thanks Wall Street Journal for the Review

The story is outstanding and also very educational. One of the best period pieces I have listened to in some time. The performance was solid. Get this book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Historical Page Turner

Carr delves into some of the important societal and political issues of 16th-century Spain in a very readable way. He also bases the events in mostly real places, so you can follow along on a map and find photos of the present-day locales. His characters and dialogue are compelling and believable.

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Nice book

Accents in Spanish are all wrong and - for Spanish auditors - annoying. The main culprit is the name Lepanto which is pronounced Lepánto