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Showing 1-10 of 16 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 34 reviews
on May 20, 2016
The setting is in New Spain, the area of North America occupied by Spain during the 1500's. The year is 1541, with a young seventeen year old man being held in a small prison cell in a fortress in Vera Cruz. In the opening chapter, we meet Esteban de Sandoval, a cartographer or map maker, as he is being questioned by the jailor, Don Felipe. We immediately learn that Sandoval is being charged with defrauding the King of Spain from his share of one-fifth on a treasure of gold, that Sandoval has hidden in a remote wilderness. Don Felipe is treating him kindly by bringing paper, quills, an inkwell and candle because he wishes for Sandoval to draw him a map of Cibola, the area in which the gold was found, and a map showing the location of where the gold is hidden. By candlelight, Sandoval begins to work on a map from memory, but most importantly, he begins to write his story of what has brought him to this moment. We learn that Sandoval was on a Spanish ship, when he left with a small crew of adventurers led by Captain Mendoza, a gold hungry opportunist. They join up with Coronado's army where they meet Zia, a young Indian girl who speaks five languages, and Father Francisco, who wishes to preach Christ to the natives. Soon they leave Coronado and with Zia as guide and interpreter, set off in search of Indian tribes said to have gold. The story fluctuates Sandoval's writing of what happened on the quest, and what is happening in the prison and courtroom. There is lots of excitement and danger from the Indians, deception by Mendoza and his soldiers, and a deepening affection between Sandoval, Zia, and Father Francisco. Sandoval is constantly under scrutiny by everyone, as they seek to find where he has hidden the treasure. The trial will hold you spellbound, and there are many twists to the story, as well as a surprising ending. This book is a classic. I could hardly put it down. The ending will leave you thinking about the outcome. This is an exceptional story that I will be thinking about for a long time to come.
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on May 22, 2011
Esteban, a young cartographer, is in prison for refusing to give the king a fifth of the gold discovered on an expedition. On the expedition, several of the crew mutiny, hoping to find gold from the seven cities of Cibola. Esteban goes along with them in the hope of being the first to map the area. The search for gold leads to many disappointments and even frustration and anger. Eventually, they steal and get gold from the natives, which leads to many disastrous results, even a skirmish. Eventually, Esteban is the only one who knows where the gold is but due to the evil the gold brought about, he has no wish to go back to the gold or give the king his share. The jailer and prosecutor at Esteban's trial want him to make maps so they can find the gold. Esteban agrees, but insists that with the maps, the gold will never be found. In fact, Esteban claims not even he could find the gold. Eventually, Esteban is sentenced to three years in prison, which he plans to serve and then he will go and seek out things that really matter, like family and friends.
Scott O'Dell wrote a wonderful story in this book. It is a great book for any reading child and is a Newbery Honor Book. It is exciting and interesting and readers will not want to put this 264-page book down. It is truly and wonderful and interesting book
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on October 1, 2015
This author takes historical people and events and creates a story to go along with it. My son, who is 12, loves this author so much we have purchased every book written by him. They have kept his attention, and he has reread several. My son's time and energy going into a book instead of an electronic device, can't ask for much more!
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on January 13, 2017
I feal that this book has a good story line. The exciting tale is a place to put your Hart. The bravery and the give up of things that are not good or needed is something we can all relate to. Well I find th this a good book!
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on September 3, 2013
The story of Esteban de Sandoval and his exploits in the New World is superb, and a journey well worth taking. There aren't enough young adult books set in the Age of Exploration, and The King's Fifth stands out among this small company because of its compelling characters and moral complexities.

Heartily recommended to anyone who enjoys historical fiction, stories about the search for mythical cities--or anyone who's too young to enjoy The Treasure of the Sierra Madre.
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on January 4, 2017
Great condition!! Our daughter loves this book!
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on December 25, 2016
Great book for a young reader!
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on June 30, 2016
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on September 12, 2014
This book was the most saddest book I've ever read, but the writing was very nice!!! I am not saying it's great but it's not ad either.
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on October 30, 2014
Flash backs have lots of action, but the present day events can get a bit sluggish for a 12yo boy. I enjoyed it.
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