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Thursday, April 11, 2013

*[Blog Tour Review] Rocamora by Donald Michael Platt

Rocamora: Man of Masks
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 Vicente de Rocamora, the epitome of a young renaissance man in 17th century Spain, questions the goals of the Inquisition and the brutal means used by King Philip IV and the Roman Church to achieve them. Spain vows to eliminate the heretical influences attributed to Jews, Moors, and others who would taint the limpieza de sangre, purity of Spanish blood.
At the insistence of his family, the handsome and charismatic Vicente enters the Dominican Order and is soon thrust into the scheming political hierarchy that rules Spain.
As confessor to the king's sister, the Infanta Doa Mara, and assistant to Philip's chief minister, Olivares, Vicente ascends through the ranks and before long finds himself poised to attain not only the ambitious dreams of the Rocamora family but alsoif named Spain's Inquisitor Generalto bring about an end to the atrocities committed in the name of the blood purity laws.
The resourceful young man must survive assassination attempts from a growing list of ruthless foes in both Church and court, solve a centuries-old riddle to quell rumors of his own impurity of blood, and above all, suppress his love for the seemingly unattainable Doa Mara.
Summary & Cover taken from
Length: 410 pages (Paperback)
Source: Review Copy
Available Formats: Print/E-book
Publication Date: September 26th 2011 by Briona Glen Publishing, LLC            
Rocamora was a difficult read. Not due to the writing but due to the terrible nature of many of the characters as well as the situations that were dealt with. However, I think the author did a really wonderful job bringing those horrors that Rocamora, amongst others in the book suffered.
I'm not all that familiar with 17th century Spain but after reading Rocamora I feel like I learned quite a bit. I really appreciated the depth of research that the author obviously went to in order to create an authentic feeling novel of the times especially since he based it on the real Vicente de Rocamora. I was astounded by how much detail went into the plot, characters and settings in Rocamora.
Like I mentioned before, Rocamora was a difficult read but nonetheless it was an enjoyable one. I loved learning about 17th century Spain and Spain's historical view of "limpieza de sangre"  (blood purity) during the Spanish Inquisition. Learning about Rocamora's life albeit a fictionalized account largely was fantastic because it opened up a new era for me to read about and explore which for me is the sign of a successful author.
The characters of the novel were both beautifully written as well as being cruel. During the Inquisition violence was the weapon of the time and entire peoples lives could be ruined just by some one's lies as young Rocamora learns.
What I liked the most about the book was that I was able to see Rocamora grow and mature from a young 16 year old boy who just avenged his parent's deaths in the beginning of the novel through more tumultuous times in his life until he is a grown man. I enjoyed seeing his view of the world change as his circumstances did and while I know he's a fictionalized rendition of a real man I felt as though the way he was presented in the book was very lifelike.
Rocamora was rife with the political ideals of the time and it's interesting to see how far we as people have come. The author did a wonderful job in bringing his novel to life and engaging me as a reader. I was completely sucked into Rocamora's story. The writing was fantastic and the characters along with setting and plot were incredibly well thought out and I for one can't wait to read the sequel to Rocamora in the near future.
I would recommend Rocamora to everyone who wants to read about a difficult time in Spain's past that has a fast moving plot, lots of historical detail and a large amount of deception and betrayal throughout the 410 pages.

About the Author

Donald Michael PlattBorn and raised inside San Francisco, I graduated from Lowell High School and received my B.A. in History from the University of California at Berkeley and won a batch of literary cash awards while in graduate school at San Jose State.
When I moved to southern California, I began my professional writing career. I sold to the TV series, MR. NOVAK, ghosted YOUR HAIR AND YOUR DIET for health food guru, Dan Dale Alexander, and wrote for and with diverse producers, among them as Harry Joe Brown, Sig Schlager, Albert J. Cohen, and Al Ruddy as well as Paul Stader Sr., dean of Hollywood stuntman and stunt/2nd unit director. Also, options were taken on my unpublished WWII fighter ace novel and several treatments.
After living in Florianópolis, Brazil, setting of my horror novel A GATHERING OF VULTURES, Dark Hart 2007, Briona Glen 2012, I moved to Florida where I wrote as a with: VITAMIN ENRICHED, pub.1999, for Carl DeSantis, founder of Rexall Sundown Vitamins; and THE COUPLE’S DISEASE, Finding a Cure for Your Lost “Love” Life, pub. 2002, for Lawrence S. Hakim, MD, FACS, Head of Sexual Dysfunction Unit at the Cleveland Clinic.
Currently, I reside in Winter Haven, Florida. My magnum opus historical novel, ROCAMORA, set in 17th century Spain and Amsterdam during their Golden Ages, was released by RAVEN’S WING BOOKS at the end of December 2008. It has been republished by Briona Glen, September 2011. My completed sequel HOUSE OF ROCAMORA was published by Briona Glen November 2012, and I am polishing a completed novel set in the 9th century Carolingian Empire about another unusual historical character, Bodo, the Apostate.

*I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my free and honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed herein are 100% my own.

Loved It!

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  1. This was a very dark period and it sounds like the author did it justice, wonderful review Kim:)

  2. Thank you for your positive review of ROCAMORA.



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