I've just finished Zorro, by Isabel Allende. I enjoyed it immensely, as I have all her other books. Not only am I a fan of Zorro himself, but her recreation of his character is pretty flawless. Foppish, hypochondriac dandy by day; masked defender with whip by night.
Zorro has an unswerving sense of social justice and a sarcastic tongue, a lethal combination. Allende sets the scene, with the colonialisation of Mexico by Spain, the subsequent mistreatment of the the existing population, and the proselytising missionaries. Zorro himself is a mestizo, a half-bood, and it allows him to exist in both worlds. Each world gives him the knowledge he needs, but both worlds also need him.
I found Allende's matter of fact comments through the stories very amusing; her dry humour and practical opinions in the face of Zorro's flair for the dramatic brings the reader neatly down to earth.
There are two things I noticed about the novel. The first, that the story has a far more "western" flavour than, for instance, Portrait in Sepia and House of the Spirits. Of course, the story is following the character's life through North America and Spain so I guess it makes sense. It made her references to mysticism and magic more obvious. There was less innate acceptance and subtlety about different beliefs and more, "You are an outsider, so how could you ever really understand Zorro?"
The other thing is a minor quibble: after three quarters of a book dealing wih Diego's life, the climax was not particularly...climactic. Kind of a let down really.
Anyway, cool book. Read it.