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Tierra y Libertad: the Cordero Saga (Volume 7) Paperback – August 14, 2012
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The war is backdrop to the lives of the characters and their loves--Ramon for his wife Anita and son Sereno, his son Domingo by his former lover Serafina and now Domingo's half brother Teo.
This book is a maturing time for Ramon as he has command of men in battle and cares for them and their lives beyond the war. He has the responsibility of his children and wife and other relatives and friends. The callow, aimless youth that we saw previously has grown up into man respected by men---and sought by lovely young women.
Hartmann has done a great job at character development while keeping the action going and the story moving. Her best yet.
The story begins in 1914 in Merida, Mexico, with an unexpected twist. As the Mexican Revolution draws to an end, the general who has kept Anita and her young son Sereno hostage for four years, suddenly lets them go. The problem is, unbeknownst to the general, Anita had helped her son escape a few weeks earlier.
Released, Anita must travel alone through the war-ravaged country to search for her long lost husband and her son who was sent on a mission to find him. But her husband, Ramon, and his son from a previous relationship, are still fighting for the rebels and are constantly on the move. Compromised transportation and communication options because of the war make locating them more difficult than Anita imagined. But that is only the beginning of the story.
Tierra y Liberatad is an engaging story, well told. It's best savored slowly to absorb all the fine details of plot and characterization. The characters are all real and deeply motivated. They all have their individual motivations, and there is plenty of conflict between them. Their lives are all inexorably intertwined, and rarely does anything go easily for them.
The narrative is always clear and concise, the action visual and well scripted. A realistic portrayal of the war and battles provides a mini-history of the Mexican Revolution. But it always remains a subplot to the main story of the character's constant struggle to find peace and serenity.
It's kind of a shame that the publishing firm that is being used by the author doesn't seem to allow for books that are longer than those that have been published thus far, which has led to breaking up the story at intervals that are sometimes a bit awkward for the reader. It would be really interesting to see a couple of "tome-like" books in hardback (comparable to those of Anne Rice or Stephen King), which would illustrate and "flesh out" the author's saga/intent more completely and homogeneously before any need for a break or pause.
This book (and indeed the series), is well worth your consideration.
I've read all of the previous six books in this saga, so the characters also have their own history for me.
Anyone who enjoys getting deep into compelling characters who are spawned by the vast expanse of history will find their time well spent in these books. This one is no exception. You will enjoy it.