Rocamora, by Donald Michael Platt, is the amazing story of Vicente de Rocamora circa 17th Century Spain. A tumultuous time in Spanish history full of intrigue, corrupt aristocracy, and religious zealots, the story begins when Vicente is just a handsome 16 year-old. It vigorously follows his life during this period of political and religious upheaval.
A man of many interests and talents, as well as a critical thinker and visionary, Vicente questions the treatment of people during the Inquisition, a time where the King of Spain is endorsing laws and committing atrocities in the name of keeping and creating a pure blood Christian race (no tainted blood from Jewish, Moor, or recent converts).
Vicente is at the center of the drama that surrounds the country, the court, and even the question of his own blood. (review continued after synopsis)
*2012 Finalist International Book Awards for Historical Fiction*
Publication Date: September 26, 2011
Raven’s Wing Books
Rocamora, a novel of 17th century Spain, is based on the life of Vicente de Rocamora, who struggles to make his place in a Spain obsessed with limpieza de sangre, purity of blood untainted by Jew, Moor, or recent convert.
Poet, swordsman, and master of disguise, at the insistence of his family, Vicente enters the Dominican Order and is soon thrust into the scheming political and clerical hierarchies that at Court.
Vicente becomes Confessor and Spiritual Director for King Philip IV’s teenage sister, the beautiful Infanta Doña María, five years younger than he, protégé and possible successor of Inquisitor General Sotomayor, and an invaluable assistant to the King’s chief minister, the Count-Duke de Olivares.
Vicente needs all his skills and cunning to survive assassination by 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 María.
Little seems to have been known about Vicente de Rocamora probably due to much being burned after that period of history. Platt does a phenomenal job with his research and I have no doubt that his novel will assist in keeping Vicente from being wiped from the history books. The novel is loaded to the brim with historical detail, much of it fact mixed with some fictionalized characters and supposed happenings.
Though the Inquisition was first established by King Ferdinand II and Queen Isabella of Castile to combat heresy and keep newly converted Catholics to the faith of their Catholic kingdom, that was in the late 1400s and by the 17th Century, with Spain under rule by King Philip IV and the tribunal taking on trying and murdering people for a whole myriad of reasons (including just being Jewish), the Inquisition became a time of terrible angst and blood shed. Platt leaves nothing behind as he writes with all the horror the time period brings. His detail helps to document a period of time that has been swept aside in most common historical literature.
His characters are very highly developed, and as I stated, his historical detail intricate. This book is for serious historical fiction/non-fiction readers that will connect to it and commit to educating themselves through an entertaining and insightful novel. I would imagine this might be a book on the college reading list for students learning Spain’s history, genocide, or religious history.
Not only is Rocamora informative, it’s thrilling. The life, trials, and successes of Vicente will leave you entertained and the mysteries and avenues explored will leave you breathless. I highly recommend this well-written novel for fans of historical fiction literature, whether you love reading about 17th Century Spain or you endeavor to educate yourself, as it will fascinate you.
Rocamora Book Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RXZthhY6OtI
Donald Michael Platt, Biography~
Born 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.
Link to Tour Schedule for more surrounding Rocamora and House of Rocamora: http://hfvirtualbooktours.com/donaldmichaelplattvirtualtour/
Twitter Hashtag: #DonaldMichaelPlattVirtualTour