A perfect novel for readers looking for some great historical fiction with a non-European setting.
Ines of my Soul tells the story of a real-life conquistadora Ines Suarez – a colonist and a settler, a lover and a fighter, and, ultimately, one of the founders of the kingdom of Chile. It really is a tour de force of a novel; it paints the heroine’s life from the youthful affairs and the first marriage in a provincial Spanish town, to the lush green shores of the New World, to the sweeping romance with the legendary conqueror Pedro de Valdivia. Then, there are the seething deserts, the steaming jungles, the light-headedness of hunger, the hot-headedness of battles, the long war against the Mapuche Indians…
This epic plot is matched by epic characters, real historical figures with larger-than-life personalities. Men of steel and men of blood, romantic explorers and war criminals, gallant hidalgos with more pride than sense and bastards in both senses of this word (who could, nonetheless, carve out empires for themselves in the New World). And, of course, Ines herself, earthy and passionate, sowing new seeds on the ruins of charred colonies, finding water in the desert and fortitude in the jungles; admiring the courage of her enemies, but never able to forgive cowardice or treachery of one of her own people.
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