The Map Thief by Heather Terrell is a book I have been meaning to read for sometime. It was published in 2008. It is a fictional novel loosely based on actual historical people and events which have been altered to fit the story line.
The subject matter of the story interested me because it revolves around three people, a Chinese eunuch in 1400, a Portuguese map maker in the late 1400’s, and lastly, a young woman in modern times who searches for lost artifacts. The book is based on the supposition that the Chinese navigated the globe long before the Portuguese. The Chinese map which has recently been unearthed and stolen in China provides the proof of this fact. As in any mystery novel, there are good and bad guys and a race to discover the truth. There is an underlying theme of unrequited love; though I didn’t think it lent much to the story as a whole.
I enjoyed the historical aspect of the novel. It took a while for me to get into the it, but all in all, it taught me something about early navigators and the history of China, Portugal and the Catholic Church. The book is not very long and I think it would be a good summer read for those of you who are looking for a mystery to whisk you away to foreign shores while on holiday.