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The Last Song

3.25 of 5 stars 3.25  ·  rating details  ·  163 ratings  ·  53 reviews
Spain had been one of the world’s most tolerant societies for eight hundred years, but that way of life was wiped out by the Inquisition. Isabel’s family feels safe from the terrors, torture, and burnings. After all, her father is a respected physician in the court of Ferdinand and Isabella. Isabel was raised as a Catholic and doesn’t know that her family’s Jewish roots ma ...more
Hardcover, 225 pages
Published April 10th 2012 by Tundra Books (first published January 1st 2012)
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  • The Last Song by Eva Wiseman
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    Release date: Oct 14, 2014
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    Community Reviews

    (showing 1-30 of 939)
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    Cassi aka Snow White Haggard
    The Last Song is one of those interesting ideas that doesn't live up to it's premise. I LOVE the idea of following a family secretly practicing Judaism during the Spanish Inquisition. I find it fascinating. The fear of the Inquisition, the conflict between loyalty to friends and church. But this book didn't really tackle any of those issues, at least not in a way that I found satisfactory.

    The characters were all one note. Every Jewish person was wonderful, generous and good. On the other hand th
    ...more
    Lyndz
    Mar 07, 2012 Lyndz rated it 4 of 5 stars
    Recommends it for: historical fiction buffs looking for a weekend read
    4 STARS!! This is a great read. I would recommend checking it out.

    The Last Song is a YA historical fiction based in a time period that you really don’t read much about; the Spanish Inquisition. It seems like it has been forever since I read a YA historical fiction, and I had forgotten how much I love them.
    The subject matter and the plot of this book are compelling and interesting. I learned a lot about the Spanish Inquisition that I did not know before.
    Some of the characters felt a little cook
    ...more
    Jessie  (Ageless Pages Reviews)
    Read This Review & More Like It On My Blog!

    2.5 out of 5

    When I first came upon Eva Wiseman's novel about 15th century Spain, it sounded like it had everything going for it: an intrepid and conflicted main character, an infamous villain for the ages, an often-ignored but compelling event in history - until I opened the first chapter. What this ended up as was rather superficial story that is too short and too undeveloped to carry any kind of depth or real feeling. I was quickly disillusioned
    ...more
    Tara Chevrestt
    This was a surprisingly quick read, not due to length, but the fact that one can't really put it down. It's fast paced, to the point, rich in history.

    The Spanish Inquisition is wreaking havoc all over Spain. Isabella doesn't quite understand why. She just knows it's because of the Jews, and she's been taught they are horrible people. Imagine her surprised when she finds out that she's one of them. Her father, the court physician, is a descendant of Jews... The story unfolds, revealing to the rea
    ...more
    Kelly
    I recieved this as an ARC from Netgalley.

    The Last Song by Eva Wiseman was a breath of fresh air. I have been reading a lot of the same style of books and it is so nice to take a step away from them, and read something so beautiful.

    The Last Song takes place in Spain in the early 1490’s. During this time the Catholic Church has decreed that all Jewish people must become Christian or lose their lives. The King and Queen have an Inquisition to find all of those “Catholics” who are only Catholic by
    ...more
    Erin
    [I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review]


    3.5 stars

    Simply written and fast paced, this story is from the first person narrative of Isabel, a Spanish aristocrat’s daughter, in the early 1490s. Isabel’s world is rocked when her erstwhile indulgent parents decide to marry her in haste to a nobleman’s cruel and unpleasant son.

    The reasoning behind this is soon clear: Isabel discovers that her parents are both second generation Conversos - their grandparents
    ...more
    Amber
    Young Isabel lives in Spain during the time of Torquemada and the Inquisition, but neither make her afraid. After all, her family is well-to-do, her father one of Ferdinand and Isabella’s physicians, and the Catholic faith is all Isabel knows. Until her parents arrange a marriage for her with the cold-hearted Luis and the betrothal preparations allow her to meet a Jewish person for the first time; a boy her age named Yonah. Between that and the whispers of Luis’ servants, Isabel learns about her ...more
    Michelle
    Actual Rating: 3.5
    It has taken me a while to review The Last Song because I have struggled with how to approach it. You see, I am precisely the type of person who would be inherently interested in it, but not at all Wiseman's intended audience. I am well read in both the middle ages and Jewish history and culture. In short, I know too much. That is not to say that Wiseman is in any way ignorant, or that she is wrong; merely that I wanted more detail, more nuance, and more depth from this story t
    ...more
    Val
    Isabel lives a life of luxury as the daughter of the physician in the court of Ferdinand and Isabella. Spain is known for its tolerance of different religious and cultural beliefs, but all that changes with the Spanish inquisition. Isabel has been raised as a Catholic and is very devout in her faith. When she is betrothed to a less than suitable young man from a wealthy respected family Isabel learns a secret that will change her life.

    Slight Spoiler alert****************************************
    ...more
    Diane S.
    It is so wonderful to know that there are still authors out there writing historical fiction for young adults. This takes place in Toledo Spain during the Spanish Inquisition, under Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand. Isabelle's father is the royal physician and has always promised her that when she was fifteen she could choose her own husband. That changes when he betroths her to a cruel young man who is known as coming from a staunch Catholic family. What follows are family secrets and a young ...more
    Colleen
    "...This book through the LibraryThing Early Reviewers program, and I am really pleased that I've also received a copy of another book by the same author, because The Last Song is fantastic. I read it through in one night; it got pretty late, but I couldn't bring myself to put it down. I caught myself holding my breath through pages, anxious for Isabel and her family; I could not go to sleep without finding out what was going to happen..."

    For full review, please visit me at Here Be Bookwyrms on
    ...more
    Susan
    The daughter, Dona Isabel, of Queen Isabella's physician discovers that her parents are not really Catholics. They are marranos living as Christians but really are Jews. This is the time here most Jews and Muslims are persecuted during the Inquisition in Spain in 1491. To further protect Doña Isabel, they insist she marry a cruel son, Luis, of her father's friend from the royal court. However Luis "tells" on her father. A letter informs that Luis has Jewish grandparents which is how Isabel gets ...more
    Gabs
    I received a free copy of this book from the publisher via Edelweiss.

    1.5 stars

    The Spanish Inquisition is one of those things that got skipped over in my history class. I remember hearing the name, but none of the details. That's what attracted me to the Last Song, basically; I love historical fiction, especially when it deals with historical events that don't really get a lot of attention.

    The book ended up telling me some things about the Spanish Inquisition. That's basically the reason I tacke
    ...more
    Carrie Slager
    [Full disclosure: I requested and received a free ebook copy through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.]

    I honestly couldn’t have been more disappointed in this novel; it’s pretty hard to make a story set in the Spanish Inquisition boring but Eva Wiseman certainly managed to. The main problem was that the writing style of this book is awful. It’s essentially this: Isabel did [x]. She didn’t know how she felt about it. Then she reacted to [y]. She felt sad about it.

    Are you snoring yet? Th
    ...more
    Daisey
    I don't know that I've ever read a young adult book that dealt with the Inquisition before, so as soon as I saw the summary for this book on NetGalley I wanted to read it. It was an interesting story, and I think it would be a good way for young readers to be introduced to this time in history. However, I was disappointed because I expected so much more from the characters. I didn't find Isabel's immediate switch from being a devoutly Catholic girl to actively exploring her true Jewish culture b ...more
    Megz
    I read this book because I love historical fiction, I had never read a book set in Spain before, and I know very little about the Spanish Inquisition.

    The premise intrigued me – it wasn’t the first book about arranged marriage that I read, but the whole package was quite unique.
    The Last Song did not disappoint. As a whole, it was certainly unique. It was not entirely predictable and took a completely different turn to what I expected. I appreciated that there was no insta-love, and that the rom
    ...more
    Dill Werner
    ARC provided by the publisher in Netgalley for a fair and honest review:

    This was a quick and beautiful read. As someone who has a degree in German on top of being Jewish, I am very familiar with World War II events. It's gotten to the point where I'd cringe if it was on the reading agenda. My people did that to my people. Let's reopen the wound, shall we? The majority of our foreign language films or later literature revolved around WWII. However, this novel is such a breath of fresh air. It rea
    ...more
    Beth Lind
    In synagogue, we like to talk about how over time the Jews were persecuted but they didn't all die so let's eat. That oversimplification of the history of the Jews rather sums up how this story evolves. Isabel is the daughter of the court physician and she has lived a comfortable, untroubled Catholic life while the horrors of the Spanish Inquisition were playing out all around her. Her parents have arranged her marriage to the son of an old Catholic family in an attempt to secure her safety from ...more
    Agustina Gonzalez
    I was approved from NetGalley for a honest review.

    My Rating: 4/5 Stars

    The last song is a YA Historical Fiction, set in the Spanish Inquisition era. During the time when The Catholic Church was in power to decree all Jewish people, and sentence them to death if they do not follow the Christian religion. It was a refreshing reading a Historical Fiction book.This year it’s been the genre that I have read the least. Lately, I have been reading many fantasy, and it is good to read something different
    ...more
    Sherrie
    I was pleased to be approved for my request of The Last Song through Net Galley and Tundra Books in exchange for a fair and honest review. Isabel lives a life of privilege and wealth in Toledo, Spain and has few worries while others are suffering during the Spanish Inquisition. When it comes to light that Isabel's family are converts from Judaism her father is arrested and beaten. Isabel must use her strength and her intelligence to learn who she really is and how she can save her family. The La ...more
    Erikka
    The Spanish Inquisition is not a time period I had read a lot about, so I was excited to receive this ARC about this fascinating and horrifying era. Having read one of Wiseman's books before, I know she typically writes about the Jewish experience at significant points in history. As an interesting story about Jews in 1490s Spain, it's pretty solid. It shows a great amount of respect for history and the Jewish faith, and I think if a student was studying the Spanish Inquisition, it would be a go ...more
    Jillian
    { Review originally posted on my blog, PidginPea's Book Nook. I received this as an ebook from NetGalley. }

    The Last Song is centered around the Spanish Inquisition, so I expected it to deal with some serious issues and explore the emotions of the characters, especially Isabel's. While it did have a meaningful plot, overall the book just felt kind of bland.

    I've read some amazing middle grade novels that really get into the characters' heads, where they share their thoughts with you and you feel t
    ...more
    Heather Pearson
    This book is set in mid 1491 Toledo, Spain. King Ferdinand and his wife Queen are on the throne. There is much religious persecution at the time, both of Jews and Muslims. The priests and familiars of the Inquisition are actively rounding up and interrogating even those who converted to Christianity several generations earlier.


    Isabel has been raised a Catholic and has no reason to fear the Inquisition, or so she thought. What secrets has her parents been hiding from her, and why are they insisti
    ...more
    Rocio Carrillo
    I received this as an ARC from Netgalley.

    From my point of view, I really enjoyed the story. All the characters are fantastic; especially Isabel and Yonah, both are well-defined like the others. And adding real characters makes the novel more reliable.

    With this story, Eva Wiseman tells a story from a different point of view. A Jew Family that have to survive in a country where the things are changing. For a Spanish people, it is a good book to remember what happened in our country so many years a
    ...more
    manda-rae
    So I definitely enjoy historical fiction, and that's probably why I enjoyed this novel. Granted, it's the first novel I've read that's set in Spain and around the Spanish Inquisition. But it's definitely sparked curiosity and made me want to learn more. Man, humanity has done some horrible things in its time...

    The story starts out with Isabel's parents selecting a suitable 'Christian' husband for her. During her betrothal, we find out that Luis really isn't very respectable, nor does he shine wi
    ...more
    Britta
    Even though I don't read much of it, Historical Fiction is definitely my favorite genre... which means that I am extra picky with it. There were somethings I enjoyed about The Last Song and some aspects that just did not do it for me.


    Starting with the good (because starting with the not so good is too predictable). I really enjoyed the subject matter. The Spanish Inquisition is a huge moment in European history, yet I feel like I only know of the name and nothing that actually happened during it
    ...more
    Iris
    [review copy from Netgalley
    Originally published here: http://irisonbooks.com/2012/05/01/the...]

    I have always found Spain at the time of the Reconquista a fascinating subject. There is something so fascinating about a society in which Christians, Muslims, and Jews lived together, with at the same time the religious tensions and wars, and the role of the Inquisition, in particular during the reign of Ferdinand III of Aragon and Isabella of Castille. I am not an expert, at all, but what I have read
    ...more
    Rebecca
    Fourteen-year-old Isabel de Cardosa lives a privileged life as the only child of wealthy parents in Toledo, Spain in 1491. She lives in a nice house and has beautiful clothes. Her parents have always given her everything she wanted. But then everything changes. Her parents announce that she will be betrothed to Luis, a boy from a wealthy and respected family. Although Luis is her own age, Isabel hates him because he is cruel and selfish. She doesn’t understand why her parents, who always planned ...more
    Rhiannon Ryder
    The not so secret history buff in me had to have this book as soon as I heard about it, and the cover whore in me agreed. Although the cover whore in me was thoroughly satisfied, the history buff was not.

    The Last Song is a teeny tiny book clocking in at 225 pages, which nowadays is almost novella short. It's shortness would not have been an issue (I rather like a little book now and again. It's like a palette cleanser), except for the fact that large amounts of the story was taken up by religiou
    ...more
    Katharine
    It still boggles my mind as to how few books have been written about the Spanish Inquisition, (especially for younger readers) yet there are myriads of books written about the Holocaust for all ages. The Spanish Inquisition is no less horrendous than the Holocaust, if not more so since it took place over a much, much longer period of time, (more than 300 years.)

    Isabel, the young daughter to a wealthy and prestigious family in 15th-century Spain, suddenly has her privileged and cloistered world t
    ...more
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    503073
    Young adult fiction writer Eva Wiseman was born in Hungary and currently lives in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Eva possesses a Bachelor of Science degree, a Master of Arts degree, and a Bachelor of Education degree from the University of Manitoba. She has worked as a journalist for the Winnipeg Free Press and the former Winnipeg Tribune, and has taught English Second Language and GED courses to immigrant w ...more
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