Reviews

In this page, I’m going to be writing about the novels and books I have read, and review plays, tv shows and operas I have watched or seen.

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Victus, Barcelona 1714

DSC_0719The starting point of this novel is a question, a simple question formulated by the mature voice of its main character, Martí Zuviría: “what impels a man to fight when he knows himself to be weak? Why do the weak fight the well-armed and powerful? Why do the small resist the big? He knows the answer, he will give you the answer, but you will have to put up with three chapters and more than five hundred pages of good reading. In ‘Veni’ ‘Vidi’ ‘Victus’ you are given, in full detail a description of how this man prepared himself to become the actor of that remarkable battle of Barcelona in 1714, the battle in which the poorly armed Catalan men and women alike resisted the siege of 13 months in the hands of the Allied Spanish and French forces under Philip IV.

You will have to learn all the insights of the ‘architecture of war’ at those times, how this voice is to become an engineer, the artist who builds fortresses and knows how to destroy them and plays a double role in the novel: he is a coward as well as a hero.

Zuviria’s knowledge trascends frontiers: he used to serve the French, now he serves their enemies, he fights for his motherland, Catalonia. He fights for Barcelona, the city who saw him leave at a young age to further his studies. In the final battle, the one that he subsconciously had been training for all his life, he has full knowledge of the two sides of the war, so he knows best.

Victus is a breathtaking novel that combines action, detailed descriptions of warfare, and character development. Anyone who doubts if he/she will be able to  go beyond the first chapter, believe me, read on and you will get trapped!

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