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The Last Cato (English Edition)
 
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The Last Cato (English Edition) [Format Kindle]

Matilde Asensi

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Descriptions du produit

Revue de presse

“What fans will like [about The Last Cato]: international travel, puzzles, secret societies and historical treasures.” (USA Today)

Présentation de l'éditeur

International Latino Award in the category ‘best mystery novel’ and an honor mention for ‘best adventure novel’


3,000,000 copies sold worldwide by the so called ‘Queen of the Spanish Adventure Fiction’ and one of the top writers in the Spanish language.


Holy relics are disappearing from sacred spots around the world, and the Vatican will do whatever it takes to stop enterprising thieves from stealing what is left of the scattered and miniscule splinters of the True Cross the Catholic Church has in its possession.


Dr. Ottavia Salina, a brilliant paleographer, toils at her classified workspace deep within Vatican City, analyzing and restoring some of the world’s most valuable religious artifacts until she is called upon by the highest levels of the Roman Catholic Church and commissioned with a mysterious new assignment: she is to decipher the strange tattoos — seven Greek letters and seven crosses — found on an Ethiopian man’s corpse. Next to what was left of the body were three pieces of wood—suspected by Vatican scholars to be fragments of the Vera Cruz, actual splinters from the Cross on which Christ was crucified.


With the help of the captain of the Pope’s infamous Swiss Guard and a renown archaeologist from Alexandria, Dr. Salina is able to uncover a shocking truth: for hundreds of years, a secret brotherhood which refers to itself as the Staurofilakes, and headed by a mysterious figure called Cato, has been hiding the True Cross and means to gather all remaining fragments for themselves. The markings on the Ethiopian corpse, they soon discover, correspond with each of the Seven Deadly Sins, and are part of the complicated, possibly deadly, initiation ritual used to deem candidates worthy of membership into the brotherhood. Seven proofs based in Dante Alighieri’s The Divine Comedy.

DANTE ALIGHIERI WILL BE THE GREAT ALLIED TO KNOW WHO IS THE LAST CATO


The book has been successfully published in 14 countries (US, Italy, Germany, France, Portugal, Brazil, Russia, Greece, Norway, Poland, Korea, Rumania, Serbia and Lithuania).



"The Last Cato is one of the greatest Spanish adventure novels. It confirms the good health of this genre in Spain with novels that are well constructed, documented and narrated. It served as a lighthouse for many readers that had as only reference of that genre the works of Reverte."
Javier Sierra, author of the New York Times Bestseller The Secret Supper


"Matilde Asensi's The Last Cato is a riveting journey into a past shrouded in mystery and literary allegory. It will do for Dante what Dan Brown did for Da Vince: Unlock riddles of our past hidden in treasures of art. A thriller to open the eyes and stir the heart."
James Rollins, bestselling author of Map of Bones and Amazonia.


"Lift the cover of Matilde Asensi's The Last Cato and you’ll be opening a treasure box filled with biblical mystery, world-travel, relic-hunts, secret societies, and deadly traps. Delicious, wide-ranging, erudite, The Last Cato does not only take adventure as its subject, but also enigmas of the Church, and history itself."
Ysta Maya Murray, author of The Conquest and The Queen of Jade

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 785 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 448 pages
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B00EJNOIIY
  • Synthèse vocale : Activée
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  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: n°20.998 dans la Boutique Kindle (Voir le Top 100 dans la Boutique Kindle)
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Amazon.com: 3.9 étoiles sur 5  146 commentaires
57 internautes sur 59 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Wonderful book - not a DaVinci Code knockoff! 23 avril 2006
Par ellen - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
At first I resisted getting this book, because I thought it was another DaVinci Code knockoff - then I saw it was written BEFORE Dan Brown's hit novel, and got it. And boy, am I glad I did! Beware if you are interested in this book, not to look too hard at the book description printed on this book's Amazon computer page - it has a big plot spoiler in it - But the book is wonderful, and is the 3rd book I literally was upset to finish! (The first was Angels and Demons, the second was Carved in Bone)
As an English major, I was familiar with Dante's The Divine Comedy - not my favorite work - but Dante did for this quest what Leonardo did for Brown's book. The quest, dealing with pieces of the Holy Cross that Jesus was crucified on, takes us on a grand adventure in many wonderful cities - As a Greek Orthodox Christian, was glad there were many accurate descriptions of different sites and priests - even the Patriarch in Constantinople - Also my name is deals with Helen and Constantine, so I was more tweeked with curiosity . The only thing I didn't like, and this was due to translation issues, is they especially at the beginning kept calling our churches as temples - Some folks still think we worship Zeus in temples, and in the translation the word church was printed as temple - but if that's the greatest thing wrong with this book no prob. Also beware, the chapters are 40 pages+ or so - This is a wonderful book filled with adventure, history, romance, and just about everything that makes you pick up a book and read it - This is definitely worth reading!!!!!!!!!
11 internautes sur 12 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 A very good read 24 décembre 2006
Par kitjank - Publié sur Amazon.com
Wasn't too sure about this one at first, and I went back and forth before I decided to buy it. It turned out to be one of those books you are actually dissapointed when it ends and there isn't a sequal. The charachters are fantastic! It's been a long time since I've read a book where the people in it were very real and alive. Asensi did a beautiful job in that. Regardless of the other reviews that complain about the translation, I had no problem whatsoever with it. It flowed and read like a well written novel should. The plot was gripping and the history and descriptions of all the places were so well done. The ending was just a bit, well, kind of sappy, so the 4 stars instead of 5, but that by no means took away any of the enjoyment I got from reading it. If you like history, travel and a good thriller, you will like this book.
5 internautes sur 5 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
2.0 étoiles sur 5 Sorry .... I couldn't believe it 25 juillet 2008
Par Peter A. Kimball - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché
This book lies at the epicenter of a triangle whose vertices are "The DaVinci Code", "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade", and "The Magic Flute". I hasten to note that "The Last Cato" was written before Dan Brown's novel, so, when the narrator, Dr. Ottavio Salina, the famous paleographer, is recruited by her superiors at the Vatican to untangle a centuries-old religious conspiracy, and you say "this is just like Robert Langdon, the symbologist", remember that Asensi is not borrowing from Brown. Although I wouldn't at all be surprised to find out that Ms. Asensi saw the Indiana Jones movie! Don't buy this in expectation of bloody climaxes and killer Nazi/Opus Dei guys though. I cited Mozart for a reason.

I have a bias toward novels with elaborate scholarly puzzles in them, so when find out from a book jacket that the protagonists are going to decode Dante and track down the True Cross, I am full of anticipatory pleasure as we plunge into Codices and Byzantine history and archaeological digs. But ultimately I can't recommend the book. I'm willing to suspend a lot of disbelief for this kind of thing, but ultimately Ms. Asensi just asks too much.

I'm not even talking only about how vast in scope and flawless in execution this previously undetected age-old conspiracy has to be, or how they are supposed to get Universal Studios-style special effects with Graeco-Roman technology. I can grumble about that, but I can live with it if I have to.

But even more unbelievable is the social psychology of it all. Do you believe, for example, that it's possible to develop a series of physical and mental ordeals such that "those who pass them [are] incapable of doing gratuitous, senseless harm"? If that were so, wouldn't the Green Berets be going around doing good like Franciscan monks? It's not a problem for it if a character believes such things, but it gets to be a problem when the author does.

Throughout the book, people act like nobody would really act, both on an individual level and as collectives and institutions. I'm talking not only about the adventurer protagonists -- I'm talking about the Vatican itself, which supposedly wants them to find "the answer" and would rather they not die halfway through, but when it comes down to it is repeatedly content to send them off to hunt like so many ferrets sent down a badger hole and wait passively for their return.

At one point, for instance, the protagonists are stuck in what amounts to a hedge maze. Nobody has thought to bring in a cell phone, or a GPS locator, or a satellite photograph of the area. They could have. Nobody on the outside apparently feels like doing anything to make sure they aren't dead, like looking for them with a helicopter (they HAVE helicopters). For some reason, everybody is "sticking to the rules", as if Salina and company were out for a day of orienteering or something. And the whole book is like this. Of course we all realize that the author wants us to concentrate on the puzzles and challenges, and that it might be a poor piece of fiction if they just blasted through everything with rock drills and the Air Force and so on, but you have to have some plausible reason why people act as they do, don't you?

I know what has happened here, really - the author has gotten overly focused on the intellectual problems involved; she has worked hard to create a set of puzzles and she thinks that by doing so she has done all the work she really has to. But I disagree. Creating a novel is a puzzle of a different kind - somehow you have to put the pieces together in a way that makes the reader think that this sort of thing might really happen. (Leaving aside obvious fantastic/allegorical fiction, that is.) I don't think Ms. Asensi devoted nearly enough attention to this last step.
5 internautes sur 5 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Do you like good thrillers? 25 février 2006
Par Clara Haskil - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
You have one here. Documented, terribly imaginative, intriguing, with interesting and unusual main characters ... You will not find here another hyper-attractive and boring "Indiana Jones" man playing the principal role, but ... a nun !! And middle aged !!

But the best thing is that you will even like her, and will not be able to stop reading till the book is finished.

Just try. I have read 4 of Asensi's novels (all in spanish), and I think this one is the best of them. Recommended.
9 internautes sur 11 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 (3.5 stars) Intriguing mystery, exciting adventure--but something got lost in the translation... 13 juillet 2006
Par Cassie W. - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
Sister Ottavia Salina is a doctor of paleography, the director of the Vatican's Classified Archives, and a member of the Order of the Blessed Virgin Mary. She spends her days interpreting centuries-old documents only a handful of people have ever seen. When the body of an Ethiopian man covered with tattoos of crosses and Greek letters is discovered, the Vatican summons Dr. Salina to a private meeting. Given only the sparest of details about the events surrounding the Ethiopian man's death, Ottavia is ordered to discover the origins of and meaning behind the strange tattoos. There to help her with her interpretation are Captain Glauser-Röist ("The Rock," as Ottavia calls him, is the captain of the Vatican's elite Swiss Guard) and Farag Boswell, a half-English, half-Arabian archaeologist working in Alexandria.

It isn't long before the trio discovers that the strange tattoos of crosses and Greek letters link the corpse to the Staurofilakes, a secret brotherhood dedicated to protecting the "True Cross," the cross on which Jesus Christ was crucified. Over the years, fragments of the Cross have passed out of their reach, to churches all over Europe. Now, the Staurofilakes are stealing the fragments of the Cross back, using any means necessary to fulfill the long-ago oath they made to protect it. One of the Staurofilakes' most prominent members was Dante Alighieri, and Ottavia and her team soon realize that Dante hid secrets about the Staurofilakes in the text of 'The Divine Comedy,' his greatest work. These secrets will take Ottavia, The Rock, and Farag through the seven levels of Purgatory (each level representing one of the seven deadly sins) and to seven ancient cities in Europe (Rome, Pride; Ravenna, Envy; Jerusalem, Anger; Athens, Sloth; Constantinople, Greed; Alexandria, Gluttony; and Antioch, Lust). If they can survive the Staurofilakes' tests, they will earn entrance into the Earthly Paradise--and hopefully discover the whereabouts of the missing True Cross for the Vatican.

THE LAST CATO is the novel that very well could have inspired THE DAVINCI CODE; as previous reviewers here have mentioned, this book does for Dante what Brown's novel did for da Vinci. Unfortunately, many people who have grown tired of the biblical mystery theme will disregard this book as a knock-off when it really isn't; it was published in 2001 (in Spanish), two years before THE DAVINCI CODE. And THE LAST CATO is a very good book; it shouldn't be disregarded!

Asensi does many things well in this, her first novel to be published in English. She's created an intriguing mystery that keeps you guessing until the last page, and she's used 'The Divinie Comedy' in really ingenious ways. THE LAST CATO is well-paced, well-researched, and intricate, and the ending is remarkably fulfilling.

However, there are some problems with the novel, and some of them are probably related to the translation from Spanish to English. The sentence structure is odd in many instances, and the novel is peppered with incorrect word usage and awkward phrasing which make reading it difficult at times. The historical information is often ponderous and lecture-y and the dialogue isn't realistic. Asensi's attempts to develop her characters feel forced; the romance that occurs late in the novel doesn't ring true AT ALL, and the scenes with Ottavia's family seem only to hinder the development of the story.

But the research is impeccable, and the puzzle is ingenious. THE LAST CATO is only mediocre in the writing department, but it's definitely an exciting, intelligent adventure. When a book inspires me to do my own research into a subject, like this one did, I know the reading has been worthwhile. If you're thinking about reading THE LAST CATO, I'd suggest going to the book's web site, which is what initially turned me on to the novel; the site's very well done.

THE LAST CATO is not perfect, but it's definitely worth a read.
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