Monday, August 12, 2013
New Review: Kathryn Kramer’s UNDER GYPSY SKIES – A Tale of Star-Crossed Lovers in 15th Century Spain
Set in Spain in the late 15th century, beginning in Castile in 1491, this is the story of Alicia, who was raised with the Gypsies believing she was one of them. Her Gypsy father, Rudolpho was also the tribe’s leader. He worried that he would eventually have to tell her she was not one of them but he kept postponing what he dreaded.
Walking in the woods, Alicia witnesses a crime and saves the “gorgio” (non Gypsy) victim. Rafael de Villansandro, the Spaniard whose life she saved, lives among them for a time as a prisoner. But seizing an opportunity, he flees, taking advantage of Alicia’s budding love for him. Then he abandons her to shame among her people.
Kramer’s complex story reflects great research of Spain’s history at the time, of the Spanish Inquisition, of Queen Isabella’s support for Christopher Columbus and the persecution that drove the Jews and Gypsies from Spain. Her descriptions are vivid and she writes well. The story is hampered a bit from the many typos that were not corrected in bringing this classic to eBooks but still it is a worthy read.
This is a story of star-crossed lovers who meet in a chance encounter and are forever changed—and it’s a wonderful dive into the history of Spain. I recommend it.
I've included the original cover art by Sharon Spiak because I think it's a beautiful picture and it doesn't show up as well on the cover image I had.