Saturday, March 28, 2020

The Last Cato (Catón, #1)The Last Cato by Matilde Asensi
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Thriller/Adventure. Here is a Dan Brown read alike -except the clues are more esoteric, languages are multiple, and footnotes abound. Asensi is a Spanish writer. I read this in English translation. The translation flowed nicely so the switch in languages is hardly noticeable.

The narrator is Ottavia Salina, a paleographer working at the Vatican. Kaspar Glauser-Röist is a Swiss Guard "fixer," and Farag Boswell is an archaeologist. With only Dante's Divine Comedy for clues, the three must follow a series of rituals to find out who stole pieces of the True Cross from churches around the world. They race from ancient city to ancient city chased by others who have less lofty goals. Scars are received. Faith is tested. Relationships are formed. The ending, while a bit too convenient, is nevertheless satisfying.

There were parts where the languages deciphered in the book - all of them ancient - got a little confusing, but things did become clear eventually. All ancient quotes are footnoted. I really enjoyed it.

Would I recommend this to a Dan Brown fan? Yes

Would I recommend this to a devout Roman Catholic? Only if they want their understanding of faith challenged.

Would I recommend this to a man in a bear suit? Yes. Bears are always up for an adventure.

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