"Since we begun the rumor that Sava would marry, the wedding between us would be an unexpected event"

An adaptation of Jules Verne’s adventurous Mathias Sandorf, Masters of the Sea endeavors to update the original’s imaginative core. Effort is not spared, and the novel clearly is done through inspiration by Verne and with a sense of not denying any ideas.

The first third of the novel follows Sandorf and his fellow Austrian compatriots, Bathory and Zathmar, in line with the original. The financier scoundrel Toronthal is present, along with his henchmen, Sarcany and Zirone. The pacing is fast, with short chapters that make for an easy read. The author employs more of a news reporter or historian’s narrative. Scenes jump from one place to another, but with enough explanation to not get bogged down.

After being rescued by fishermen, the characters are marooned on an island populated by Shaolin monks, and their leader is none other than Confucius. Their story becomes a long, drawn-out history lesson and narrative that slows the pace to a crawl. Luckily, things pick up with an island escape, a return to Europe, and the intrigue of Germany invading Austria. Finally, Sandorf exacts revenge upon those who betrayed him in a swashbuckling, partly incomprehensible, fashion.

The original Verne classic provides a denser read in the speech of the time—Verne’s predictions in his own words. Rios' narrative reveals a struggle between the author’s ideas and its desire to stick with Verne’s method. As a result, the book becomes somewhat of an uneven adaptation, with sections of didactic intercourse mixed with periods of excitement.

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