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Zorro by Isabel Allende
The story of Zorro has enthralled readers and moviegoers alike for almost a century. Isabel Allende now tells how Diego de la Vega became Zorro. In her telling, he was born in California to a Spanish landowner and Shoshone mother. His mother and grandmother taught him Indian virtues and with his test of manhood comes his totem, the fox (zorro in Spanish). At 16, his father sent Diego to Barcelona to teach him fencing and educate him in the European traditions. He learned swordplay from a master, fell in love with a woman, and joined a secret society that protected the poor and innocent. Upon returning to America, he wass captured and educated further by Jean Lafitte. By the time he comes home to California, he has become a noble savage with cape, mask, cabellero hat, and sword, out to avenge the injustices of the Spanish dons. Zorro has received positive reviews with the Miami Herald saying, "This is a big, sprawling story, superbly told. Allende, who was asked to write this book by Zorro licensors, succeeds in breathing new life into this decades-old character so that he may indeed ride again."