Moon of the Setting Sun: A Review of “The Wolf in the Whale,” by Jordanna Max Brodsky

The history of European contact with the New World is full of exaggerated tales of discovery and colonization, and lacking in tales of conquest and enslavement.  The Spanish and Portuguese carved up South America while England and France moved into North America and established their own colonies.  Native tribes all over the continent fell to steel and industry until only shadows remained of their former empires.  But, over four hundred years before these Europeans “discovered” the New World, there were the Vikings, and they did not stay for long.

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A Place in Panduri: A Review of Deepest Blue, by Mindy Tarquini

The history of Italy is a history of vendetta and strife.  The time Italy has spent unified is nothing compared to how long humans have inhabited the boot.  From the fall of the Roman Empire to the establishment of the Kingdom of Italy in the nineteenth century, Italy has consisted of independent city-states, each vying for control of the land.  Even the Catholic Church became involved in the struggle when they ruled the Papal States in the center of Italy.  This long history is defined by vendettas between cities and near constant skirmishes.  The reasons for such strife were usually inconsequential in the grand scheme of things.  Little understood arguments between rival families, heirs running off with the daughters of trade rivals.  Deepest Blue may take place in a magical city sequestered from the world, but the problems plaguing the city are familiar to all Italians.

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