Tras la lluvia literaria
It is difficult, and unusual to see, for an author to chain three successes in a row, and even more so if it is his first three novels. I read La heredad de la tierra without knowing the person behind the pseudonym Andrés Vidal and I came across a wonderful story. Months later, I approached El sueño de la ciudad with some trepidation, since my expectations could obscure the result. Not only was it not like that, but the novel seemed magnificent to me. Just a few days ago, The Sea of Free Men, the author's new bet, was published, and once again I started it with a mixture of illusion and fear. What have led to both feelings? In the best novel I've read this year.
The Sea of Free Men is a perfect, round novel. In it Andrés Vidal has allowed himself to be convinced, very rightly and wisely, by an ambitious argument that will lead the reader to endless feelings. It is a very complete book that combines elements of different genres that only extol, even more so if you know how, the extraordinary story it tells: the brilliant historical recreation of the French Revolution, the Napoleonic empire and the restoration of the monarchy; the exciting adventures, lived by a soldier and corsair; the exceptional descriptions of the landscapes through which the plot takes place; the unfathomable and imperishable force of a great love like few others... It is a historical, romantic, adventure, and landscape novel. Does anyone give more?
Màrius Mollà, the engineer behind the name of Andrés Vidal, has outdone himself once again. And it's not a trivial matter, because his previous novel already became one of my favorites from last year. I don't know what reading this 2013 will bring me, but I am sure that few books will be able to tarnish the majesty of The Sea of Free Men. A story that has it all, that promises accurate shots to the reader's heart and that has left me with equal amounts of happiness and sadness. Joy at discovering a novel that displays natural perfection, and sadness at ending my relationship with Christophe Marchand, a character who will remain in my memory for many, many years. I will summarize my opinion, in case I have not explained myself well, in a single word: read it!