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Literature / Zorro

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A 2005 novel by Isabel Allende, about the famous hero Zorro.

As the son of a Spanish noble landowner and a Shoshone warrior woman, Diego de la Vega was always destined to be a child of two worlds. He developes a strong sense of justice, and together with his adopted brother Bernardo, sets out to bring justice to the world as Zorro.

Tropes found in this novel

  • Aloof Dark-Haired Girl: Juliana, at least to Diego, whom she does like as a friend, but not nearly as much as he loves her.
  • Amicable Exes: What Toypurnia and Alejandro are described as in the epilogue
  • Animal Motifs: The fox for Zorro, obviously.
  • Annoying Younger Sibling: Isabel to Juliana. Diego seems to see her as such, too, at least at first.
  • Apron Matron: Eulalia de Callis, much to her nephew Rafael Moncada's annoyance.
  • Arch-Enemy: Rafael Moncada. It starts as a rivalry over Juliana's affection, but grows into a deeply personal hatred.
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  • Author Avatar: Isabel de Romeu is a plain-looking tomboy who's brash about being smarter than everyone around her, gets her first male attention when she's 15, and is forced to flee to a foreign land after a repressive ruler comes to power - which are all also true of Isabel Allende. This is further reinforced by the revelation that Isabel de Romeu is the book's narrator and in-universe author.
  • Badass Preacher: Pater Mendoza. He does not like violence, but when necessary he will respond in kind.
  • Benevolent Conspiracy: La Justicia is dedicated to helping the helpless, no matter which side they are on.
  • Broad Strokes The inclusion of Esperanza as Diego's wife who dies under tragic circumstance is taken from The Mask of Zorro, but Diego's imprisonment and eventual death in that film are not brought up and it implied Diego lived to a ripe old age.
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  • Bumbling Dad: Tomas de Romeu. He clearly loves his daughters, but he leaves most of the parenting to the governess Nuria.
  • Childhood Friend Romance: Bernardo and Light-in-the-Night. They meet when they are children, fall in love as teenagers and never even consider dating anyone else.
  • Coming-of-Age Story: For Diego, mainly, but to a certain degree also about Bernardo and even Juliana and Isabel.
  • Dead All Along: Catherine, Jean Lafitte's wife, died before our heroes ever met him.
  • Did Not Get the Girl: Juliana marries Jean Lafitte. Diego is devastated, but picks himself up pretty quickly and is said to have been married two times by the time of the epilogue.
  • Contrived Coincidence: Played with in Part Five. Zorro, a wanted fugitive from the Spanish government and who was active during the time Diego was studying in Spain suddenly appears in Alta California...not long after Diego's return home. Moncada correctly concludes the obvious explanation: Diego is Zorro. Diego only escapes thanks to a bit of theater courtesy of Isabel dressing up as Zorro.
  • Disappeared Dad: Bernardo never met his father.
  • Elective Mute: Bernardo, after he is forced to watch as his mother is raped and killed. He can talk, but the trauma made him stop, so he mostly uses hand signs and his flute to convey what he wants to say.
  • Expy: Rafael Moncada is basically a younger version of Don Rafael Montero from The Mask of Zorro.
  • Fortune Teller: Amalia, a Romani traveller who Diego and Bernardo befriend.
  • Hero of Another Story: Agnes Duchamp, who is shown as a nice but vain and snobby girl, and implied to become the author George Sand later in life.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partner: Diego and Bernardo. They consider themselves brothers, even though Diego is the son of a rich Spanish noble and Bernardo the son of a poor Native American single mother. However, Diego's mother is a proud Native American woman too, and she never saw a reason to treat Bernardo differently then Diego, and they were born on the same day and weaned on the same milk, so they actually grew up like brothers.
  • Historical Domain Character: Pedro Fages, George Sand, Jean Lafitte and Marie Laveau all appear as side characters
  • Hot-Blooded: Diego. Part of his character development is learning how to react calmly to things.
  • Impoverished Patrician: Juliana and Isabel when their father dies.
  • The Ingenue: Juliana.
  • It's Personal: Moncada towards Diego, which is what prompts him taking the Alta California assignment and trying to destroy the de la Vega Family.
    • Mendoza also acknowledges the Trope in-story when Diego and the others are briefing him on what's happened since Spain. To Mendoza and Alejandro, Moncada's actions and targeting the senior de la Vega didn't make any sense. At best they thought he was arrogant or zealous or corrupt. It's only after Diego provides the missing context that Mendoza understands it's actually a personal vendetta.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Eulalia de Callis. She is a good business woman who thinks she should value profit over morals, but when Juliana and Isabel, whom she does not like and does not consider good enough for her nephew to marry, are impoverished and orphaned, she buys their remaining goods (mostly the house they live in) for more than double of it's worth, not because she wants it or can even use it but because she wants to make it possible for them to live a decent life.
  • Like Brother and Sister: Bernardo and Isabel. Also appears to be what Juliana sees Diego as.
  • Love at First Sight: Diego to Juliana, who does not reciprocate. Also Juliana and Jean Lavitte. They end up marrying.
  • Love Redeems:What Juliana hopes for with Jean Lafitte. The epilogue mentions that they're still happy twenty years later, so it appears to have worked.
  • Love Triangle: Diego thinks he's in this with Juliana and Raphael Moncada. However, it's made quite clear that Juliana actually isn't interested in either of them romantically.
  • Magical Native American: Diego's grandmother, Lechuza Blanca alias White Owl. To a certain degree also Diego's mother Toypurnia and even Diego and his brother Bernardo as well.
  • Master Swordsman: Diego, of course. Also his teacher, Maestro Manuel Escalante.
  • Missing Mom: Juliana and Isabel's mother died a few years before the story begins. Also, Bernardo, after Ana is murdered, though Toypurnia raised him as her own.
  • Mythology Gag: As Zorro rides off from his first adventure in Alta California, he sings a self-composed verse that, from its description, is clearly meant to be the 1950s TV theme: "...something about a valiant horseman who rides out on moonlit nights to defend justice, punish evildoers, and slash a Z with his sword." For bonus points, he rears his horse with his sword held overhead as he sings it.
  • The Narrator: Tells the story. Is later revealed to be Isabel.
  • No Romantic Resolution: Juliana marries Jean Lafitte, and Diego marries two women named Lolita and Esperanza, both of whom die rather shortly after the wedding. Isabel states that she loves him and probably always will, but she knows him well enough not to tell him, as that would make him feel trapped quickly. She prefers to wait until they're both old, when he'll be less restless and more dependent, and tell him then.
  • Not Good with Rejection: Raphael Moncada.
  • Odd Friendship: Toypurnia and Pater Mendoza. The proud Native American woman and the Christian preacher. They are united in their quest to help and protect Native Americans, though.
  • One-Word Title: Character Title of some kind.
  • Pirate: Jean Lavitte who kidnaps Diego, Juliana, Isabel and Nuria and holds them for ransom.
  • Plain Jane: Isabel, especially next to the incredibly beautiful Juliana. She doesn't really mind, though.
  • Polar Opposite Twins: Diego and Bernardo aren't actually twins, but they grow up as such. Still, Diego is a hotblooded idealist while Bernardo is much calmer and methodical in his pursuit of justice.
  • Race Lift: In the original stories and most other media, both of Don Diego's parents are Spaniards. This novel makes him half-Native American on his mother's side and his grandmother is a wise-woman who says his spirit guide is the fox.
  • Raven Hair, Ivory Skin: Juliana.
  • Reformed, but Not Tamed: Toypurnia, sort of. She enters the story as the leader of a group of Native Americans assaulting a mission, but after being captured and falling in love with Alejandro de la Vega she accepts a Spanish education, including the convertion to Christianity and the new name Regina. However, it's made very clear that she never forgets her roots, as she continues to visit her mother and raises her son with the language and traditions of her people. Also, as soon as Diego moves out, she leaves Alejandro and goes to live with her tribe again.
  • Samus Is a Girl: The Warrior Chief Gray Wolf, who successfully attacks multiple Spanish settlements, turns out to be the young woman Toypurnia
  • Single-Target Sexuality: Bernardo, who falls in love with Light-in-the-Night when they are still young teenagers and goes on to marry her. Also, to a lesser degree, Isabel, who admits that despite a short crush on Jean Lafitte Diego is the only man she's ever loved.
  • Tomboy: Isabel, so very much.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Juliana and Isabel. Juliana is a near perfect young lady, while Isabel is a tomboy who likes to play with swords and wants to learn how to fight.
  • Twin Telepathy: Sort of. Diego and Bernardo aren't actually twins, despite being born on the same day and being raised together by their mothers, and telepathy is maybe a bit far, but they do have a bond that allows them to communicate despite being apart. That's how Diego knows that Bernardo made it home well after he leaves to be with Light-in-the-Night, and how he knows something is wrong when Diego himself is on his way back home.
  • Vigilante Man: It's Zorro, so of course. Interestingly, Diego shares the title of Zorro with Bernardo and Isabel by the story's end.
  • Where Are They Now: The epilogue features a recounting of what happened to all the main characters after the events of the story.