As a young boy, he met and befriended a child, Joanet, who would become his best friend . Together, they explored Barcelona and learned of it's treasures and some of it's secrets. The most important to them was the church of the Virgin, The Cathedral of Santa Maria de la Mer was under construction and the two were fascinated. Their lives became entwined with the progress of the building.
I read this book steadily for a week, pushing aside other obligations to gain more reading time.
|the cathedral of Santa Maria de la Mer|
A book this long also needs a villain. That roll is filled by the nobles, who are self centred, with no concern for those in their care (the serfs) , and no thought to the future. The Inquisitor of the Holy Office, Nicolau Eimerich, is a horrid person but so well written that I could actually imagine him presiding over the hearings.
I found the treatments of the Jews disturbing, though it is accurately retold from historical documents. Author Ildefonso Falcones based the book on a historical events though some liberties were made to accommodate the story line.
|a bastaix carring a stone for the cathedral|
Translator Nick Caistor
Cover image courtesy Penguin Books.
Image of the cathedral from Wikipedia.
Image of the bastaix block from the website of the Basilica Santa Maria del Mar.