I have been so immersed in the historical fiction that I have been reading, but this sounds SO good! It is the same time period that I am reading about, Spanish Inquisition and religious wars abound. Very intense, very sensual reading. Can't wait to pick this one up. Is it a "difficult read"?

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I have been so immersed in the historical fiction that I have been reading, but this sounds SO good! It is the same time period that I am reading about, Spanish Inquisition and religious wars abound. Very intense, very sensual reading.

Can't wait to pick this one up. Is it a "difficult read"? Or is it pretty quick? This is a very easy YA read. Once you actually can commit to it aka sit down for more than five minutes it's pretty quick. Confession: I read all the reviews you write on here and never comment.

Confession: I am overwhelmed by all the reading you do! Confession: I want to read these books but am nervous about the emotional toll they may take on me. Harry Potter 7 resulted in me sobbing late-3 am- into the night. You are amazing!! Post a Comment. Sunday, April 19, Incantation - Alice Hoffman.

Summary: This kind of knowing you can never tell to anyone. If you want us to survive, you cannot trust a soul. Estrella de Madrigal thought she knew herself: daughter , granddaughter, dearest friend. But truth is rare in this cruel and unforgiving century in Spain, when Jews who refused conversion to Christianity risked everything--love, life, family, faith.

Then: a startling discovery shakes Estrella's world to the core. Emerging from a cocoon of secrets, new love burns brightly, but betrayal unleashes a monstrous evil upon her. Estrella must find the strength--despite grave consequences--to become the person she is destined to be. So yesterday I sat in the bath till the water got cold. I was late for my Yoga class.

But I finished. Incantation takes place in Spain during the Spanish Inquisition, a time when many people were being imprisoned or killed on suspicion of heresy or practicing Judaism. Many Jews converted to Christianity to protect themselves, but still practiced the old ways in secret. These Conversos were hunted down, not unlike the Salem Witch Trials, when a single accusation of wrongdoing was as good as a conviction.

While clues dropped throughout the book lead you to an almost certainty of this, Estrella, at her young age, remains unaware of the difference that separate her families religious practices from others.

As tension builds in the city and suspected Jews are dragged away only to disappear, you can clearly see the chaos that is about to erupt. I held my breath, waiting, just WAITING for that moment when Estrella realized the truth—that her world was NOT what she thought it once was—that she has been protected and sheltered, but lied to by those closest to her—and that the beliefs she has been taught since childhood now threaten to tear her entire family apart.

There was a little bit of mysticism and magic in the book—just a touch—and light enough to blend in really well with the historical aspects. All in all I thought this book was, for a YA book, a vivid and passionate portrayal of the terrors of the Spanish Inquisition. It sucked me in completely. My rating: 5 beautiful stars!

As a historical fiction, there are some descriptions of the killing of Jewish families that were discovered. It's not pretty--so be prepared--but it is very integral to the story.

In one sentence: Incantation is a beautifully written and haunting tale of the Spanish Inquisition told--as chaos swirls around her--through the eyes of an innocent young girl. Newer Post Older Post Home.

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As she did in The Foretelling , Hoffman offers another fascinating glimpse of a past civilization—with reverberations for both past and present—in this moving novel set during the Spanish Inquisition. The year is and, in the village of Encaleflora where year-old narrator Estrella lives, Christian soldiers, "driven by bloodlust and evil," crusade against all forms of heresy. First, they burn books; next, they rob Jewish and Muslim families of their possessions, then torture or kill them. Readers familiar with Jewish traditions may guess what Estrella does not yet know about her family: that they are conversos , "new Christians," a community practicing the Jewish faith in secret. With expert pacing and lyrical prose, Hoffman lays out the clues that lead Estrella to self-discovery while also educating readers about the nuances of the times. During her darkest hours, after her grandfather, mother and brother are brutally murdered, Estrella still refuses to compromise her values or her devotion to Andres, who returns her love despite the dangers. Even secondary and tertiary characters emerge fully formed, while Estrella's spare, eloquent narrative evokes her sorrow and her determination to survive and never to forget the atrocities she has witnessed.


Anything by Alice Hoffman is going to be good. Incantation is no exception. It tells a brief story of a family of Jews during the Spanish Inquisition. It is a story of love, hate, betrayal, and loss. Worth the read and can be read in one sitting, if desired. A great story about the persecution of the Spanish Jews.

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