From his chlidhood in Fez, having fled the Christian Inquisition, through his many journeys to the East as an itinerant merhcant, Hasans story is a quixotic catalogue of pirates, slave girls and princesses, encompassing the complexities of a world in a state of religious flux. Hasan too is touched by the instability of the era, performing his hadj to Mecca, then converting to Christianity, only to relapse back to the Muslim faith later in life.
In re-creating his extraordinary experiences, Amin Maalouf sketches an irrisistible portrait of the Mediterranea world as it was nearly five centuries ago - the fall of Granada, the Ottoman conquest of Egypt, Renaissance Rome under the Medicis: all contribute to a background of spectacular colour, matched only by the picaresque adventures of Hasan's life.
Customer ReviewsSee All
I first read this book as a teenager and re-read it again 7-8 years ago. Yet despite having read it twice, I've found myself thinking of this wonderfully vivid story once more.
I think this more than anything testifies just how captivating and well told the story of Leo the African is. With the cast of brilliant characters and diverse settings, it truly is an enjoyable read and one I would highly recommend!