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The Last Cato

3.8 of 5 stars 3.80  ·  rating details  ·  3,732 ratings  ·  266 reviews
A masterful blend of Christian scholarship and thrilling adventure, The Last Cato is a novel about the race to find the secret location of the Vera Cruz, the True Cross on which Christ was crucified, and the ancient brotherhood sworn to protect it.

Holy relics are disappearing from sacred spots around the world—and the Vatican will do whatever it takes to stop the thieves f
Paperback, 464 pages
Published April 3rd 2007 by Harper Perennial (first published 2001)
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Community Reviews

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Não acredito que tive este livro na estante durante quase quatro anos, sem que o tivesse lido! É como eu sempre digo: as coisas só acontecem no momento certo!

Adorei! A escrita, apesar de não se poder considerar uma obra-prima da literatura é maravilhosa. A trama é um pouco densa, recheada de História e por vezes complicada, mas tão brilhantemente trabalhada que nos envolve e nos leva de aventura em aventura, a cada página que passamos. É um daqueles livros que se pousa com muita dificuldade e qu
Beth Cato
I have absolutely no interest in The Da Vinci Code or any books of that sort, but I picked this up for two reasons: my last name is Cato, and it was only $2 for a hardcover at the Phoenix VNSA sale. Personally relevant and cheap![return][return]I was pleasantly surprised by this massive book. Once it got going, I was completely snared. The main character, Ottavia, is a high-ranking nun working in the Vatican. She specializes in ancient manuscripts and research, and therefore she's stunned when h ...more
Max Rebo
Una aventura en la línea de los thrillers de conspiración y temática religiosa que posteriormente puso de moda 'El Código da Vinci'. Misterio, sociedades secretas, una obra de la cultura universal (La Divina Comedia) como manual para descifrar la clave... buenos elementos de partida para una novela entretenida, aunque no redonda. A diferencia de lo que sucede con Dan Brown, Matilde Asensi se preocupa por desarrollar a sus personajes, cosa que se agradece. En cambio, su tendencia a irse por las r ...more
This book is a delightful historical fantasy. The author allows the reader to experience a literary game played out with Dante's Purgatorio as the rule book and travel guide. While these kinds of conceits frequently produce adventure and action at the expense of interesting characterization, Asensi's characters evolve as interesting and complex human beings. The settings are detailed and richly drawn.

The Last Cato also happens to be an intelligent critique of the Roman Curia as well as a lively
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, Ottav ...more
Paco Orozco
Cogí este libro por casa y comencé a leerlo sin saber de qué trataba. En algunas ocasiones te llevas sorpresas muy agradables, esta fue una de ellas. Me recordó mucho al El código Da Vinci, pero este me pareció mejor. Más documentado, con personajes más profundos y una historia más completa. La trama te mantiene en vilo, aunque debo decir que al final, el último tercio se hace algo largo.
What is with the modern obsession with Dante? There have already been several rather lousy works based on Dante's Inferno, and this adds to that list. It's neither a proper historical thriller nor a very good crime novel. There are elements of fantasy that are a complete let-down. There are improbable protagonists who speak particularly improbably. Either the translation is somewhat lacking or the author's got a tin-ear for conversation. Characters don't so much speak as perorate. There's a nun ...more
A part une petite déception pour la fin, un peu trop rapide et utopique pour mon goût, j'ai beaucoup aimé ce thriller ésotérique. D'abors il est très documenté et aborde une période intéressante de l'histoire (attention ce n'est pzs un roman historique) mais évite de nous noyer sous un flot d'informations occultes. Ensuite j'ai adoré les personnages surtout l'héroïne Ottavia qui est une nonne historienne! et aussi Farag un de ses compagnons d'aventures. Enfin l'histoire est bien conçue; d'ailleu ...more
Ο Αιθίοπας Άμπι-Ρουχ-Ιγιασούς βρίσκεται νεκρός και το σώμα του είναι γεμάτο από σταυρικά σκαριφήματα ενώ ταυτόχρονα σημειώνονται κλοπές του Τιμίου Ξύλου απ’ όλο τον κόσμο. Οι Ορθόδοξες και η Καθολική Εκκλησία βρίσκονται σε αδιέξοδο από το οποίο καλούνται να τις βγάλουν 3 άτομα. Πρόκειται για τη Δόκτωρα Οτάβια Σαλίνα, μοναχή του Τάγματος της Μακαρίας Αειπαρθένου Μαρίας και υπεύθυνη του Εργαστηρίου Αποκατάστασης και Παλαιογραφίας του Μυστικού Αρχείου του Βατικανού (ουφ), τον Καθηγητή Φάραγκ Μπόσγο ...more
If you like a good puzzle, mystery, or loved The Da Vinci Code, you'll probably enjoy this book. Ottavia Salina is a nun who enjoys a celebrated career working in the Vatican Archives. Her life is a simple and quiet one, until one day she is asked to help decode symbols tattooed on the body of a dead Ethiopian. No one will tell her who he is or what he's done, only that she needs to figure out what the markings on his body mean. It is to be her main priority, and a Swiss Guard Captain, Kaspar Gl ...more
Will Byrnes
Doctor Ottavia Salina is a “paleographer” working at the Vatican. Relics of the True Cross from across the world have been disappearing, and an obscure religious order is suspected of collecting them. The pope himself has ordered Salina, together with a big shot in the Swiss Guard and a world-renowned archaeologist to get to the bottom of the disappearances. The trio discovers a connection to Dante’s Divine Comedy, and pursuing clues left in the classic text, they pursue the truth across the anc ...more
I've read Iacobus by Matilde Asensi which is really trully amazing. This one may not be amazing but it is still a very good one. Ottavia Salina (her name means the eighth) a paleographer is called by the vatican to take part in a mystery surrounding the disappearance of parts of the holy cross. In her search along with the "rock" a member of the Swiss Guards and a handsome archaeologist, Ottavia faces life changing trials that alter the way she sees the world around her. The same more or less ha ...more
OMG! (As any of my grand-daughters would say.) I can not believe I had this on my bookshelves for two years before I read it! I love this book! It is not for everyone. The history is THICK. But the writing is wonderful, the story complicated - so I did not figure it out in the first half as I usually do - and the characters were unusual but believable. This book was originally written in Spanish but is about an Italian family. Yes, that is what I said. And Dante's Divine Comedy is what holds th ...more
oh wow.....The Last Cato had me sitting on the edge of my seat like i was watching a thrilling movie. great story and plot - again this plot made the book! what imagination the author has to write this book. love the tie in with Dante's Divine Comedy. have always been a little bit intrigued by Divine Comedy and this book made me understand it just a little bit more. The characters were all likable and interesting. the adventures had me hanging on a cliff the whole time......could not put the boo ...more
Prior to reading this novel, for better or worse, I checked a couple of reviews. Most people started by saying "if you liked the Da Vinci code..." which was, to be honest, off putting.

The Da Vinci Code was a poorly written American novel that combined the worst aspects of left and right wingnuttery - antiChristian pomo-paganism and a baseless obsession with conspiracy theories. It only grazed plausibility with loose connections to any facts surrounding the historical characters or groups includ
The Last Cato by Matilde Aseni was an intriguing and interesting novel. Adventure, intrigue and vast information on the Catholic church, it really was "The Divinci Code" meets "National Treasure". The characters were believable and likeable and their quest was nail-biting as well as laugh out loud funny at times. I felt Ms. Asani's vast knowledge of the Italy, Egypt and Turkey combined with the history of the church and church relics made for a delightful story. Zillions of names of officials an ...more
Lo dejé en la página 358 de 632. Vamos a ver: no es que sea malo de necesidad, es que todo suena a repetido hasta la extenuación. La protagonista, una monja, acompañada de un erudito egipcio copto y un capitán de la guardia suiza del Vaticano, utilizan La divina comedia como guía de viaje para la iniciación en la secta de los staurofílakes, cuyos miembros están robando todas las supuestas reliquias de la vera cruz de los templos y catedrales de la Cristiandad.

Siguiendo la obra de Dante se sumer
Pamela Mclaren
First and foremost, I wanted to read this book b because I had heard good things about the author and part of the reason I read is to learn about things that I don't know that much about, including authors that I may never normally come into contact with. Within the last year or so, I have been reading more and more Spanish speaking authors and have discovered that their stories are much different than what American authors I have experienced.

The same with this book. At first, this had a feel as
Paula Howard
The Last Cato is Matilde Asensi's 1st book translated from Spanish into English. I was very impressed with the ease of reading the book. It had a good flow which is often not found in translated books. A job well done.

One of the 1st things the reader notices is that the characters are very much real and live. You feel as if you are there with them. You really begin to interact with them and their feelings.

The Last Cato opens with the murder of an Ethiopian man. What is strange about this individ
Natxo Cruz
El que comença com una mena de Codi Da Vinci, el guió d'una pel·lícula d'Indiana Jones o d'un videojoc de la sèrie Tomb Raider, acaba d'un manera delirant i ensucrada que suggereix que l'autora va patir un inesperat atac de nostalgia de l'època hippy en no saber com acabar el llibre, carregant-se una trama més o menys competent i intrigant i desaprofitant completament el personatge principal.
This book is along the lines of the DaVinci Code. I learned a lot about the early Christian Church through this book and so I liked the historical aspect. I was a bit turned off when the main character, a nun, falls in love. I really didn't like the ending at all - found it too ridiculous and silly and it ruined the book for me.
Claudia Sesto
"Rimasi in silenzio per qualche minuto, guardando fuori dal finestrino e pensando alle sue parole.Perchè crediamo di vivere le nostre vite dissi poi quando sono le nostre vite a vivere noi?"
Un viaggio dentro alla Divina Commedia di Dante Alighieri ed esattamente nel Purgatorio con i sette peccati capitali ognuno legato ad una prova da superare ed ad una città nella quale eseguirla (Roma la superbia, Ravenna l'invidia, Gerusalemme l'ira, Atene l'accidia, Costantinopoli l'avarizia, Alessandria la
Novela de aventuras e intriga bastante apañada, que recuerda mucho al Código Da Vinci en algunos momentos pero con más gracia (nunca le pillé bien el punto). Tenemos una monja estudiosa de textos antiguos, un capitán de la guardia suiza más seco que la mojama y un arqueólogo ateo latin lover. Le añadimos un misterio que afecta a las reliquias de la Iglesia y una serie de pruebas a seguir ocultas como pistas en la Divina Comedia. Agitamos un poco y tenemos algo a caballo entre la novela de ficció ...more
Enrique Cueva
El libro me ha mantenido enganchado hasta el final gracias a todos esos momentos tipo Indiana Jones o Lara Croft...
Sin embargo, me ha resultado muy cansina la protagonista, con su mojigatería y su despertar hormonal.
Los giros en la trama y los personajes son un tanto irrisorios, y tanto obispo y tanta cruz aburren a un santo.
Creo que este libro pasará muy pronto a la región del olvido en mi memoria. No ocurrirá lo mismo con la obra maestra hacia la cual ha despertado mi interés: La Comedia de Da
Madame Von Bee
I thought the plot of this True Cross conspiracy meets Dante was way over the top and I didn't like the ending. None of the main characters worked well for me and I found the heroine particularly implausible, especially her Sicilian background. That said, it was well researched and there was enough food for thought in parts of it to encourage me to read more of this writer. She is clearly very knowledgeable. I enjoyed what she had to say about Byzantium and she offered some very interesting insi ...more
george burns
No Thrills

On the positive side, unlike most writers of thrillers, the author keeps the violence in check. Having as the protagonist a modern scholar nun is interesting, but the characters are wooden and the plot Is unbelievable. The quest for paradise is clogged with filler: church history, travelogue and advice on every subject under the sun (or so it seems). Worse yet the Divine Comedy is the guide for the trip. This thriller does not thrill. If you want to read an interesting account of possi
Πάρα πολύ καλό!!!
Brent Benjamin
Found this book in a bargain bin somewhere, the cover of the book caught my eye and the storyline seemed interesting. However, it did take me some time to actually read the book. I have to say that I can't believe that I WAITED so long before reading this book.
I do have to agree with other reviewers that the book was very slow to start, but the way in which the author was able to take different religious views and show how each one of them has shaped our lives over several hundred years, and ho
This book is about Dr. Ottavia Salina, a nun who works in the Vatican's Classified Archives. She joins a quest with Kevin Glauser-Roist and Professor Farag Boswell, to find the Staurofilakes, a group stealing pieces of the True Cross. They find clues that help them on the quest in Dante Aligheri's "Purgatory." Along the way, Sister Salina and company, all have life altering experiences that change them forever.
I really enjoyed the book, but it took me a little while to get into it. I felt the s
This is absolutely my favorite book. I have now read it 4 times. Interestingly enough, I very nearly abandoned it. I honestly was completely bored through about the first 100 pages. Yes, 100. My best friend, whose taste in history and thriller matches my own, strongly encouraged me to keep with it. I am so glad that I did. Every other fiction book I read is compared to this one. Once the action got going, I was completely engrossed in this story. As a fifth grade teacher, I use this experience t ...more
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Matilde Asensi (born 1962 in Alicante, Spain) is a Spanish journalist and writer, who specializes mainly in historical thrillers.

She has more than 20 million readers worldwide and has become the reference of quality bests-sellers in Spanish language. According to the magazine Que Leer she is the ‘Queen of the adventure novels’.

Her books, of an indubitable quality and proven historical documentatio
More about Matilde Asensi...
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“Las cosas hermosas, las obras de arte, los objetos sagrados, sufren, como nosotros, los efectos imparables del paso del tiempo. Desde el mismo instante en que su autor humano, consciente o no de su armonía con el infinito, les pone punto y final y las entrega al mundo, comienza para ellas una vida que, a lo largo de los siglos las acerca también a la vejez y a la muerte. Sin embargo, ese tiempo que a nosotros nos marchita y nos destruye, a ellas les confiere una nueva forma de belleza que la vejez humana no podría siquiera soñar en alcanzar.” 9 likes
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