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Victus: The Fall of Barcelona, A Novel

1 rating: 4.0
A book by Albert Sanchez Pinol

A #1 international bestseller reminiscent of the works of Roberto Bolaño, Carlos Ruiz Zafon, and Edward Rutherford—a page-turning historical epic, set in early eighteenth-century Spain, about a military mastermind whose betrayal ultimately … see full wiki

Tags: Fiction, Novel
1 review about Victus: The Fall of Barcelona, A Novel

Engineers Make A Difference!

  • Jul 25, 2014
Fascinating tale of Zuviria Marti, who because of a childhood prank, is sent off from Spain to France to be educated. He arrives at the estate of Vauban, a legendary engineer who has fought in many wars. While the other two candidates to be trained appear superior to Zuvira, he is chosen.

His training as an engineer is more intense than one can imagine as he is routinely put through exercises where he has a short time to look at something and then he is tested on the most minutest detail of what he may have saw (how many petals were on a flower). This training is so that he can look at any stronghold and instantly find the weaknesses so it can be stormed. Additionally, it helps him to design fortifications that cannot be breached.

Marti tells the story in first person and at the beginning of the book you know that he has been to many battles as he starts talking about the various wounds he has received that affect him still. The reader is given a lot of detail as to how fortifcations are built including how bastions are set up the author includes many picture representations throughout the book.

There is a very valuable cast of characters along with their highlights at the end of the book and this proves very valuable to the reader because we are given so many characters and historical events that without this reference I would have been lost. I mostly enjoyed this book and it presented a great deal of history for a time in Europe that I knew very little about (Early 1700's). Sometimes the book gets a little bit buried under some of that history telling and it was very challenging to remember everything. This is the only thing that kept me from giving the book a full five stars.

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July 25, 2014
Sounds like an informative read!
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