From the recipient of the 1998 Nobel Prize in Literature, a “brilliant...enchanting novel” (New York Times Book Review) of romance, deceit, religion, and magic set in eighteenth-century Portugal at the height of the Inquisition.
Portugal, 1711: an amorous friar is pursued naked through the rubble-strewn streets of Lisbon; an enthusiastic procession of flagellants roars with pleasure over the damnation of adultery; a royal prince uses hapless sailors for target practice; and women dressed in colorful finery watch as lapsed converts and sorcerers are put to death by flames. In the midst of the terrors of the Inquisition and the plague, a seemingly mismatched couple discover the wonders of love. This poetic tale, graced with exquisite historical details and full of magic and adventure, is a tapestry of human folly and human will.
“A romance and an adventure, a rumination on royalty and religion in eighteenth century Portugal and a bitterly ironic comment on the uses of power.”—New York Times
“A charming and really moving love story… An unexpected gem.”—USA Today
“An enchanting novel [with a] love story which soars over the rest of the action like a flute above a heavy orchestra.”—New York Times Book Review
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