Book - Cathedral of the Sea

Cathedral of the Sea cover

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Cathedral of the Sea

by Ildefonso Falcones

Rating: ★★★★☆

Synopsis: This is a masterful epic of love, war, treason, plague, famine, witchcraft, anti-Semitism and the Inquisition. 14th-century Spain, the medieval city of Barcelona is enjoying a golden age of prosperity. Its humblest inhabitants are building, stone by stone, a magnificent church to overlook their harbour. This is the Cathedral of the Sea: a church to be built for the people by the people. In its shadow, Arnau, a young serf on the run from his feudal lord, struggles to earn his freedom. After famine, plague and thwarted love, Arnau’s fortunes begin to turn when King Pedro makes him a baron as a reward for his courage in battle. But he is also forced to marry Eleonor, a ward of the King whom he does not love. His new found status excites jealousy from his friends who plot his downfall with devastating consequences. Arnau’s journey from slave to nobleman is the story of a struggle between good and evil that will turn Church against State and brother against brother…

Not the kind of book I normally love, but I really liked it. I wanted Arnau to make it and was very interested in how medieval Barcelona’s politics and society are so parallel to today’s world.