I have been looking forward to Thursdays, lately. Jessica from Sweet Green Tangerine hosts The Book Chat . The prompts are interesting and thought provoking.The added bonus is that I have also found many other bloggers to follow who participate in The Book Chat.
This week’s prompt was on your favorite setting and I knew I wanted to participate. This is one of my most treasured literary elements, it can make or break a books for me. I have been an avid reader for as long as I can remember and one of the main reasons is because books can take you places that you would not normally go. Through books, I have been able to see different parts of the world or visit diverse historical periods that fascinate me.
Over the Edge of the World: Magellan’s Terrifying Circumnavigation of the Globe by Laurence Bergreen. Even though this is non-fiction, it reads as a suspenseful novel. I was captivated by Magellan’s journey, the first circumnavigation of the earth.
The book takes you along Magellan’s course, starting in Portugal, then across the ocean to various points in South America, across the ocean once more to Philippine islands, around Africa and back to Europe. The reader gets a great feel for the political dynamics of these countries, in this time period. The contrasts are deep and the implications of his arrival can be seen for centuries after.
Bergreen brings the voyage alive to the reader. You feel the curiosity, confusion, amazement and fear of discovery. How fascinating and terrifying it must have been, to visit parts of the world that you never knew existed! How supernatural and invasive it must have felt, to have people who looked completely different from you, arriving with technology you never realized was possible!
I am enthralled by the discovery period in history. It was something that shifted the dynamics of the world as we currently know it. Bergreen does an amazing job of describing the psychological, emotional and sociological implications of Magellan’s quest.
This book combines my love for historical setting and travel. It definitely transports you to this time period with the electrifying suspense and drama of the quest. Magellan’s show down with the Filipinos made me squirm and cringe, but it added to the adventure and conflict within the book.