Saturday, October 14, 2017

The Spanish Exile (Islands of the Crown #1) by Jewel Allen | A Book Review

The Spanish Exile (Islands of the Crown #1) by Jewel Allen | A Book Review by iamnotabookworm!

I got this, along with the next book in the series from ebooksforreview.com. I could say, I am a regular reviewer of the site. Every month, I always sign up to review any or all of the titles featured. Most of the books featured on the site are also really good stories. I came to meet a lot of new authors through it and some of those authors I have come to love and follow. I have become bewitched by their talent and can't help but wait for their next stories to come out.

Let me just get this out--Yes, right at the start so everyone will know. I sort of felt a personal stake or kinship to this story because it mentioned the Philippines. I know it's shallow or pathetic but I feel proud finding books written by a non-Filipino and mentions a Filipino character or a place in my country in his/her story. As long as it speaks of good things about my country and my people, it makes my heart swell. It's a far cry from hearing about terrorists and terrorism on the news. I am even prouder of this story because the writer is part Filipino. 

For some who don't know, the Philippines was under the Spanish rule for 333 years. Yes, the big three. In those more than three centuries, we have been influenced by the Spaniards greatly, even some of the common and undesirable Filipino traits have been unfortunately acquired from the Spanish rulers. Those three centuries were unfortunately not the best years of our history. A lot of maltreatment and abuses were suffered. If only, good things and influences were gained from those years of rule, then maybe, my country would have probably been better for it.

So, history aside, this story is coined from those years of Spanish rule. The main protagonist, Raul Calderon, a Spanish born with one bad leg that causes him to limp, dreams of joining the military. By some unfortunate incident, he met a man that would become his fencing tutor, after saving them from road bandits. This man became Raul's mentor and fanned more his yearning to become a military man. And he did become one. He rose up the ranks and became a captain. By another unfortunate event, he was charged of a crime against the crown and was later exiled to the Philippine Islands.

I love historical fiction. I was never fond of history in my student days. I guess, I would owe this love for this genre on Clive Cussler. I have been fascinated by his stories that history came to be a very interesting subject for me. Especially after having travelled to some historic places in Asia, I became even more interested in history. So, no wonder this book got my fancy. 

I was even more enamored when I learned how this story came to be. It is for me the greatest adventure--to be able to discover some proof that you were descended from some people who had done something important and became part of history. This was what urged the author to come up with this story, though this may in part contain fiction. 

The story of Raul Calderon is a story that a lot of people can relate to. Fighting for your country and fighting for love. Which of the two carries a heavier weight? Which would you give up, betray and save? Raul Calderon represents a good Spanish man who loves his country and who has seen the sufferings of war. He's torn between doing his duty and doing what's right. 

I give this book 4/5 swords. This is a well-written story of adventure. It seemed as if it was not fiction at all. It's a pleasure knowing you Capt. Raul Calderon. 



She'll have no problem attracting a smile, especially if Good Fortune is a man.
- Jewel Allen, The Spanish Exile -