"Captivating, extraordinarily vivid." Publishers Weekly "Rollicking, readable, and fascinating." St. Louis Dispatch "Shows a fine gift for storytelling." Booklist Fifteenth-century Spain was a terrifying place. It was the time of the Inquisition a time of torture, betrayal, and unexpected courage. The Muslim world was struggling to keep the West in an economic vise, the Christian world was fighting back against their control of its trade routes, and the Jews were caught in the middle tortured if they assimilated, expelled or killed if they clung to their heritage. Into this turbulent scene step a unique combination of strong-willed characters, brought to life with stunning realism by award-winning novelist Newton Frohlich. Cristoforo Colombo, ingenious sailor and explorer with one foot in the Jewish world and one in the Christian, is determined to reach the East via the West if only he can find a way to finance his voyage. His Christian wife, Filipa, offers him social acceptance and valuable contacts while the beautiful and talented Beatriz reminds him of his true identity, one he's been forced to hide. The influential Santangel family, converted Christians, risk their fortunes to finance the voyage of discovery and risk their lives when they resist the Inquisition. And the imperious Queen lsabel, who holds the power to change all of their lives, must choose at last whether to sponsor the grand scheme set before her. A vivid tapestry of passion and political intrigue, fanaticism and economic ambition, 1492 depicts a crucial moment in world history, with sobering parallels to today, when human tragedy and human triumph were inextricably intertwined. "1492 is a novel. And a very fine one.... Impressive scholarship supports Frohlich's fiction." National Catholic Reporter.
Who was the real Christopher Columbus? In Frohlich's captivating, extraordinarily vivid first novel, the white-haired widower and sea captain who alternately called himself Colombo, Colomo and Colon (never Columbus) was a Marrano, or converted Jew, an idealist who believed it his destiny to be ``a light to the Gentiles.'' Frohlich, an attorney, spent eight years researching his book and brings remarkable realism to his chilling depiction of the fanaticism fueling the Inquisition. Queen Isabel is a merciless, sadistic, money-mad anti-Semite, and King Fernando henpecked. Among the other compelling characterizations are Beatriz, Columbus's outspoken Jewish mistress, cousin of the Grand Inquisitor Torquemada; and Boabdil, a weakling who deposes his own father to become sultan of Granada. Except for some patches of self-conscious dialogue, this is a convincing, detailed re-creation of the Old World on the brink of discovery.