The Devils of Cardona

Matthew Carr

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The Devils of Cardona

The Devils of Cardona The gripping story of the dangerous high stakes worlds of politics and religion in sixteenth century Spain as a mysterious Muslim killer retaliates against the Catholic Church In March the pries

  • Title: The Devils of Cardona
  • Author: Matthew Carr
  • ISBN: 9781101982730
  • Page: 401
  • Format: Hardcover
  • The gripping story of the dangerous high stakes worlds of politics and religion in sixteenth century Spain as a mysterious Muslim killer retaliates against the Catholic Church 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 conveThe gripping story of the dangerous high stakes worlds of politics and religion in sixteenth century Spain as a mysterious Muslim killer retaliates against the Catholic Church 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.

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      Published :2019-01-02T05:03:25+00:00

    One thought on “The Devils of Cardona

    1. Susan Johnson on said:

      This is one of the best historical mysteries that I have read in a long time. I would rank it up there with C.J. Sansom who is my favorite writer of the genre. It is thickly plotted with characters who come to life and details of the period that were incredibly interesting. It is set in 1584 in Spain during the times of the Inquisition. I have to be honest and admit that I know next nothing about either the times or setting so everything was a revelation to me. A corrupt priest is murdered in hi [...]

    2. BlackOxford on said:

      Caballeros del sabio púrpuraThere's this federal law enforcement officer and his posse, which includes the officer’s roguish but good-hearted cousin as jovial side-kick, sent into the mountains to bring the benefits of white men’s justice to the natives of the region. There's this evil, scheming bigot who is in league with the big local land owner, both of whom for their own reasons want the natives blamed for murder and highway robbery. There's this beautiful young widow who is the object [...]

    3. Steven Z. on said:

      Toward the end of the late 16th century the reign of Philip II of Spain and ruler of the Hapsburg lands of Central Europe seemed threatened by external and domestic forces. Externally, Queen Elizabeth of England worked to undermine his kingdom by supporting pirates and the armies of William of Orange as the Dutch continued their revolt against the Spanish monarch. Across the Pyrenees, the King of France also did his best to cause difficulties for Philip. Internally, Phillip had to deal with Mori [...]

    4. Dorothy on said:

      Matthew Carr has written several nonfiction books on historical subjects, including the Inquisition and the purging of Muslims from Spain in the 16th century. Now he has written his first novel, also dealing with that subject.The Devils of Cardona refer to the Moriscos who were Moors who were forced to convert to Christianity. But, as the book makes clear, they were not devils; they were just human beings trying to survive in the world and raise their families in peace. Peace, however, was in ve [...]

    5. The Just-About-Average Ms M on said:

      The historical aspect was good, based, I think, on the author's previous nonfiction accounts of Spain in the late 15th and 16th centuries. So was the sense of place, because the Pyrenean region northeast of Zaragoza is quite distinct, and the author portrayed it accurately and in detail. The central plot issue, an alleged Morisco assault against the Old Christians led by a shadowy figure called the Redeemer, is a microcosm of the simmering suspicion against b0th the Moriscos--Muslim converts--an [...]

    6. Jamie McMahan on said:

      This novel is a delightful read. A historical novel set during the Spanish Inquisition, the story follows its protagonist and his compatriots on their search for the murderer of a corrupt priest. While the plot on its face deals with a typical murder mystery, the reasons underlying the actions of the characters in the novel mirror issues that are present in headlines today, specifically religious and ethnic bigotry, violence and intolerance. One can't help but feel that the story not only offers [...]

    7. Kat Christopoulos on said:

      The Devils of Cardona starts in the mode of a classic murder mystery but soon takes on a scale so epic that it takes on a genre all of its own. I read this book in a week and for that time was immersed in the late 16th century and transported to Spain. Carr manages to educate the reader about this complex period in Spanish history with the lightest of touches. You're never left confused but are equally never patronized and I was fascinated and engaged throughout. The host of characters is also i [...]

    8. James Old on said:

      Highly formulaic plot. Most of the "surprises" were predictable. The characters and dialogue did not seem true to the setting.

    9. Mihir on said:

      Full review over at Fantasy Book CriticOVERVIEW/ANALYSIS: This book is a must read for all history fiction aficionados, set in the late sixteenth century Spain, we the readers are introduced to a land which is fraught with religious fervor, suspicion & persecution of the other as well as plain bigotry (laced by religion of course). The focus of the story is on Belamar de la Sierra, a small village/town in the Aragon province near the France-Spain border. There has been a brutal murder of an [...]

    10. Erika Schmid on said:

      When I first began this novel, I thought I would grow bored of it. The story was dense and I feared that it would ramble. However, I am delighted to be proven wrong as this was an entirely fascinating story that obliterated any preconceptions I held. I have read many novels that take place in the Pyrenees of France and Spain, though the vast majority of them in one way or another end up revolved around the Cathars. Again, I was so delighted to read a novel that took place in this region that was [...]

    11. Gregory on said:

      Matthew Carr's The Devils of Cardona is a murder mystery set in 1584 Spain. A priest has been murdered, then others are killed, and the question is whether moriscos, or Muslims forced to convert to Catholicism, are responsible. The Inquisition and its ideals are thus a key part of the story. It is a complicated--at times almost overly complicated--plot.It's a good story, though not a great one. The narrative of the lies behind what everyone does is compelling--the priests, the Inquisitors, the i [...]

    12. Carol on said:

      Murders, intrigue, rebellious attacks, unrest following the death of the priest and thrilling adventure!!!The story in set in Hapsburg, Spain in medieval time. The time is about 1500 during the reign of King Philip II. The Inquisition is progressing along. A priest in the village of Aragon is murdered.Bernardo Mendoza who is prosecutor for the court is sent to investigate the happenings.The description is deftly making you feel as if you were there. The characters are bold and well defined. His [...]

    13. Nathaniel on said:

      I received this book for free as a giveaway.I very much enjoyed this book and was really surprised to find that this is Matthew Carr's first novel. It was a very interesting (and engrossing) look at a time and place I did not previously know much about. I had gone into expecting more historical fiction (which it is), but did not expect it to be so much of a thriller and a page-turner. It was also surprisingly relatable to what is going on politically in the U.S. and the rest of the world right [...]

    14. Dqframey on said:

      There was probably a decent story somewhere in there, but I had trouble seeing it through the thicket of mediocre sentences and interchangeable characters.

    15. OLT on said:

      Religion. What should be an uplifting, reassuring belief in a supreme being and a guide to living a righteous life unfortunately often becomes a justification for xenophobia and intolerance to those whose religious beliefs and experiences differ from our own. Matthew Carr's debut fiction work, a historical mystery/thriller, takes us to 1584 Spain, not a good time or place to be a Muslim, even a "morisco", a Moor converted to Catholicism.One could posit that this was just payback for the years of [...]

    16. Israel Drazin on said:

      Devils in Cardona, where the devils are people of another religion, and Cardona is a rich area ruled by a beautiful relatively young widow, has been praised by many reviewers as being remarkably well-written, with compelling characters, and an interesting plot. The novel tells about a thirty-four-year-old judge who in late 16th century Spain is sent to investigate and discover who killed a local priest, a man who lied about many of his parishioners who refused to give him money and had them sent [...]

    17. Toni on said:

      This is a gripping historical thriller and also an engrossing mystery.Set against the background of the Spanish Inquisition, it explores the plight of the Moors forced to accept Christianity whether they believe or not, and the rebellion of a group led by someone calling himself The Redeemer. When a priest of a small village in Aragon is murdered, His Majesty King Philip send Judge Bernardo de Mendoza to investigate. With his cousin, swordsman de Ventura, two guards, and his scribe Gabriel, a Mo [...]

    18. Peter Ackerman on said:

      The Devils of Cardona is a work of fiction by non-fiction author Matthew Carr. The author has, in the past, written about Muslim Spain and the eventual purging of members of that faith from the Christian backed Inquisition. Much of that history is interwoven into this dense novel.After the murder of a priest, in a village full of former Muslim converts a trusted, incorruptible magistrate Bernado de Mendoza is called to both solve the case and to temper any possibly uprising that might be in the [...]

    19. Jacqueline on said:

      I read twenty pages and thought I couldn't continue. I picked the book up a few days later and started it from the beginning. Carr is an excellent writer. His usage of the languages places you easily in XVI century Spain. He uses beautiful sentences and his many metaphors are never tiring or distracting.At the start his command of the English language kept me reading. The story development kept my attention to the finish. I knew nothing of the Moriscos. It is amazing how history repeats itself. [...]

    20. Ben Sharp on said:

      If you were a Moor living in Spain in the 16th century, I would venture to say that your life expectancy could be dramatically altered by an Inquisitor at a whim. Carr has very thoughtfully created that world, in all its drama and grotesqueness, introducing Licenciado Mendoza, our hero of sorts, to navigate a complex, fun historical mystery.My major complaint is that the complexity of the plot is tied up almost too neatly, due to a couple cliched contributions from an oafish son of one villain a [...]

    21. Larry on said:

      A different sort of mystery, set in late 16th century Spain. The chief protagonist, Mendoza, is a principled, persistent, and clever prosecutor/judge/investigator. There are several competing themes, including the justice, the Inquisition, religious intolerance, the lack of cohesion of Spain, and greed, among others. The main characters are well developed. The author does a good job of getting the reader to think in the terms of the era, so battles using swords, knives, and muzzle-loaded firearm [...]

    22. Carolyn Eastman on said:

      I'm not a fan of historical fiction, much less historical procedurals/mysteries, but this one is beautifully done. Set in 16th-c. Spain amidst the Inquisition, and amidst great religious and political uncertainty as Spain sought to ensure full religious purity among peoples who used to be Muslim and Jewish, this is a rollicking good read with vivid characters and evil plotters. I took it with me on vacation -- it makes a perfect vacation book.

    23. Amy on said:

      An earnest novel with a huge cast of characters: a former soldier turned worldly judge, a beautiful countess with a secret, a naive/orphaned/devoted scribe, masked bandits, illiterate shepherds, an evil baron with a dissolute son, several curvaceous but unfaithful wives, a blackmailing priest and a wise Muslim doctor. In Spain during the Inquisition, it appears there was a lot of scheming, much bloodshed, and quite a bit of screwing around.

    24. Frank on said:

      What an amazingly put together novel. Absolutely among the best I've ever read on so many levels. This was one of those books that I started reading not knowing what to expect and was treated to a gem. That made it all the more exciting. This one will go on my bookshelf to read again---I'll have to resist lending it out.

    25. Ruth Zaryski Jackson on said:

      I really enjoyed this historical thriller set in 16th century Aragon Spain. The characters are well drawn and with much historical detail the plot moves at a fast pace with intriguing elements of politics, religion, love and ruthless murders. I recommend this to history and mystery readers and anyone who enjoys a good story.

    26. Connie on said:

      This is an excellent work of historical fiction set in 1584 Spain. The judge who is the main character is sent on a mission after a priest is found brutally murdered in his church. I knew very little of this period in history before starting this book. Skillfully written. I'm looking forward to future books by this author.Highly recommended!

    27. Mimi on said:

      Excellent read. Interesting tale of the Spanish history with the Moriscos that lived during the Inquisition.

    28. Lauren Hopkins on said:

      Another RaHoWa that could've been avoided if dudes could have gotten over the friend zone.

    29. Jenna on said:

      Liked it. A little long but had some good history parts to it. Mystery part ok.Main investigator characters were likeable.

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