The Salt Covenants


Christian - Historical Fiction
345 Pages
Reviewed on 03/24/2015
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Author Biography

Born in Romania, Sylvia Bambola lived her early years in Germany. At seven she relocated with her adopted family and saw the Statue of Liberty and America for the first time. But the memory of those years in post World War Germany inspired her to write Refiner’s Fire, which won a Silver Angel Award, and was a Christy Finalist.

Her frequent moves as an “army brat” gave her an opportunity to see America and fall in love with her new country.

Sylvia Bambola is the award winning author of eight novels, including Tears in a Bottle and Rebekah's Treasure. A resident of Florida, she teaches women’s Bible studies and is currently learning the guitar. She has two grown children.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Kathryn Bennett for Readers' Favorite

The Salt Covenants by Sylvia Bambola is a historical fiction that takes place in Spain, starting in the year 1493. We meet Isabel who has broken her mother's heart by converting from Judaism to Christianity. Despite this, however, when she is noticed by Friar Alonso at La Casa Santa, the Holy House, she must flee or be submitted to the Inquisition. She marries a man she does not love and catches a boat to the New World as Christopher Columbus heads on his second voyage. Things take a turn and Isabel finds that she must make her way in this dangerous New World alone; will she be able to do it?

The first thing you should know about this book is that it is not a light and fluffy historical fiction; it is deep and heavy and has many layers to it. That said, it is a great read and it is that 'meat' which makes it so good. The first two chapters seem a little bit slow, but they set up a lot of details that you need for the book. Once you get past those first two chapters, however, the story seems to fly by and you will not want to put it down. I found Isabel an amazing woman for making her own choices in life in a period where a woman generally had little choice in what she did. She answered first to her family and then was married off. But this woman makes her own choices and, while she must face many hardships, she keeps moving on in the face of them. I wish I could be more like Isabel! You can tell that author Sylvia Bambola has put a lot of work into this book. Isabel shines through as a very realistic character and the backdrops of the story stand out vividly. Any historical fan is going to enjoy this book and I highly recommend it.

Publishers Weekly

“Bambola (Rebekah’s Treasure) elevates a simple historical tale into something transcendent, in this beautifully written novel about a young Jewish noblewoman, Isabel, who flees the Inquisition on Christopher Columbus’s second voyage to the New World.” Publishers Weekly starred review

Library Journal

“This is not a quick read, but Bambola (Rebekah's Treasure) adeptly depicts a time and place not often explored in Christian historical fiction. Her theme of loss of ethnic culture suffered by the Jews and Native Americans should resonate with readers. Isabel is a well-developed character living in a cruel world, who never succumbs to becoming cruel herself. There may be some crossover appeal to readers of Philippa Gregory and Alison Weir.”

Sallie Yusko

“Bambola’s gift for storytelling in this work of historical fiction is noting short of remarkable.” Sallie Yusko, pastor, founder of Women of Worth and Destiny, conference speaker and writer

Micki Sorbello

“In her historical novel, The Salt Covenants, Sylvia Bambola paints a masterpiece with words.” Micki Sorbello, artist and free lance writer