The fifth book of Daniel Silva’s series featuring art-restorer and Israeli avenger Gabriel Allon shows in small ways his growth as a writer. In Prince of Fire, the technical aspects of the plot play second fiddle to the people side of the story, although the plot doesn’t lack for suspense or mystery.
The ongoing battle against Palestinian terrorism plays itself out on the battlefield of Allon’s guilt over the loss of his son and the injury suffered by his wife Leah. An incidental consequence of his obligation to Leah, despite the fact as this novel begins she has not said a word to him in more than a dozen years, is the aborted legal consummation of his relationship with Italian-born Chiara.
Another aspect of the human side of the story is the relationship of Allon to Shamron, his father substitute. The latter continues to manipulate Allon to serve his ends, knowing Allon can’t say no to him. Shamron wants him to take over running the “Office,” while Allon just wants to restore medieval art.
Prince of Fire doesn’t paper over the suffering of the Palestinian people but accurately places the bulk of the responsibility for the refugee problem on the Arab leaders of Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Egypt who refused to allow ten percent of the British mandate to be allocated as a Jewish state and instead sought to drive the six hundred thousand Jews living in Palestine in 1947 into the Mediterranean.
Then failing to accomplish that goal, those same leaders refused to integrate the refugee population into their countries, forcing them into squalid camps which became the breeding grounds for terrorism they remain nearly seventy years later.
Allon explains the problem to a member of his team: “The only difference between Hamas and Hitler is that Hamas lacks and power and the means to carry out an extermination of the Jews.”
That doesn’t mean the Palestinians have any interest in a peaceful settlement, which is why Daniel Silva continues to find fertile territory for his brilliant story telling. It always comes back to the people who didn’t ask for war, but for whom war can’t be escaped.
- Mass Market Paperback: 419 pages
- Publisher: Berkley Pub Group; Reprint edition (1 February 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9780451215734
- ISBN-13: 978-0451215734
- ASIN: 0451215737
- Product Dimensions: 10.8 x 2.2 x 19.2 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 240 g
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 11,807 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)