The Spanish Sacrifice

Jay Perin

Publisher: East River Books Pages: 470 Price: (ebook) $4.99 ISBN: 9798988264804 Reviewed: April, 2024 Author Website: Visit »

The sixth novel in Jay Perin’s projected seven-volume retelling of the Mahabarata continues the saga of the Sheppard, Barrons and Kingsley families’ battle for control of the world oil market.

After a brief prologue featuring elder statesman Temple vowing revenge at the funeral of an undisclosed decedent, the novel proper begins in 1998. Lilah (a scion of both the Sheppard and Barrons clans), her now-estranged husband Brad Kingsley, and Brad’s brothers have recently returned to the U.S. after their years as international fugitives.

Now, Lilah is on a mission to dismantle the all-powerful network she helped build by uniting three oil dynasties. Harry, her childhood sweetheart turned platonic protector (though the two are still in love), is on her side. But other alliances prove unstable and treacherous, as long-kept family secrets bubble to the surface.

As Lilah’s generation continues its battles, her nephews Michael and Gabriel grow up. With emerging adulthood, however, comes the risk of becoming pawns in their elders’ decades-long power games.

The Spanish Sacrifice has the feel of a lull between the The Indian Defense and the expected series finale. It’s more dialogue-heavy than the former; in particular, a congressional hearing in the novel’s second half grinds the pace to a halt. Much of the story takes place in the U.S., in contrast to the world-spanning last few installments, which also blunts the narrative drive. A shocking final scene, however, portends an action-packed conclusion to the series.

Perin’s characters, as always, prove captivating. It’s especially gratifying to see the younger generation take its place on the series’ stage and poignant to observe Temple and his contemporaries in their later years, reckoning with the consequences of their actions.

Although not the strongest entry in the series, The Spanish Sacrifice should nonetheless prove rewarding for its fans, leaving them eager for the next volume.

Author's Current Residence
Bloomington, Illinois
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