King’s Fifth

Dear J—

Just finished – literally – a novel entitled The King’s Fifth, by Scott O’Dell, Scott O’Dell of Island of the Blue Dolphins which I suspect every kid in California has read by the time they’re twelve. Fifth is a surprising story about the Spanish exploration of the New World and the quest for Cibola, the fabled city of gold (or seven cities, as you might have it). It’s narrated by a teenager, as so many of his books are, and – this I didn’t realize – features a budding romance between the native guide Zia and the young sailor narrator, Esteban. Zia, it turns out, is the niece of Karana, who featured in Blue Dolphins so I didn’t realize there’s a whole O’Dell galaxy of characters (and Zia herself features as a novel and sequel to Blue Dolphins).

My usual method is to download a whole bunch of books at once and then spend the next few weeks frantically trying to read them all before they expire. Unless, that is, there is some one that keeps echoing in my mind with the universe and characters.

I’m going to have trouble starting another book after this.

Mike

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