In Island Builders, a dying man decides to set the record straight about Juan Ponce de Leon, his oldest friend, his captain, his most bitter enemy, and the man who sought the fountain of eternal youth.
As a young boy during the Inquisition, Armando unknowingly helps his policeman father track down Conversos, the secret Jews of Seville. When the two join the army in the conquest of Granada, Armando meets Juan Ponce de Leon and wins acclaim by accidently saving King Ferdinand’s life. After he defends a Moorish woman from an attack from a renowned knight, Armando has no choice but to flee, and finds himself on the first voyage of Christopher Columbus—where he becomes the Admiral’s trusted advisor after both causing and putting down a mutiny. Such is the strange and serendipitous life of Armando, who can’t help but speak his mind. In the New World, however, he discovers his true voice as a champion of native rights. Confronted on all sides by ruthless conquistadores, he allies with Ponce de Leon—until Armando falls in love with De Leon’s wife and must decide where his true loyalties lie.