This seems an excellent introductory biography of Magellan, simple yet cognizant of the full play of motives that went into the venture around the world and written in a dignified manner that emulates adult historical work. In its coverage of both the fore-running and succeeding events to Magelian's career, the text begins with the conditions of his youth in Tras-os-Montes, Portugal, and his early appointment as a page to the Queen in Lisbon. There the speculations on what Magellan must have seen, heard and thought in the bustling city make a fine complement to the analysis of the international situation in 1510. With the spice trade on an all-important rise, Venice had a monopoly Portugal hoped to break. Magellan's first part in that accomplishment involved an exciting tour of duty in India and Malacca which earned him a promising reputation. But with his idea of approaching the spice area from the opposite direction, he returned to an unjustly deaf Portuguese king and was forced to offer his services to Spain. This is full-bodied, consequential reading and with the attention it pays to the details of the voyage, it should spark flagging interests.