The hero of this historical novel is Martin Olden. The story is set against the researched facts of Magellan’s voyage to Asia. In 1494 the division of the globe into two spheres of influence, between Portugal and Spain, left a vital question unanswered: which country’s sphere encompassed Asia – particularly the fabulously wealthy Spice Islands? In 1519 Captain-General Ferdinand Magellan led a Spanish expedition, sailing westwards, to disprove Portugal’s claim to the Spice Islands and establish that much of the rest of Asia were Spain’s possessions. The voyage saw a series of dramatic events - by the time Magellan’s fleet reached the Magellan Strait, mutinies had left all his Spanish Captains dead or marooned and there was appalling deprivation on the long voyage across the unexpectedly vast Pacific to the Philippines. It was there that Magellan, disregarding the Spanish king’s orders, attacked Lapulapu a local ruler of Mactan Island. Prior to being captured on Mactan Island, Martin Olden helped Princess Lalu, Chief Lapulapu’s half-sister, a skilful healer and powerful Shaman when she was assaulted by Santos – a misogynistic Spanish sailor. Captured by Lapulapu’s warriors, Martin subsequently witnessed the fate of Magellan and fell in love with Lalu.
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