La reina descalza
Ildefonso Falcones - 2013
18th century Spain, a moving story of friendship, passion and revenge unites two female voices in a shrill tribute to liberty.
In January 1748, a black woman wanders the streets of Seville. Leaving behind a past as a slave in far-off Cuba, a son that she will never see again and a long ship journey to the Spanish seacoast. Caridad no longer has a master ruling her life, nor a place to take shelter when she comes across Milagros Carmona, a young Triana gypsy lady in whose veins runs the blood of the rebellion and the art of those of her very race.
The two women become inseparable and, among sarabandes and fandangos, the gypsy woman confesses her love for good-looking and arrogant Pedro García, yet they are estranged from each other as a result of old family hatred. Meanwhile, Caridad strives to quell her budding feelings for Melchor Vega, Milagros’s grandfather.
But when a Royal Mandate outlaws all the gypsies, Milagros and Caridad’s life tragically changes. Though their paths diverge, fate reunites them again in Madrid, at the time a town where smugglers and comedians, nobles and villains converged; Madrid as a town that surrenders to the passion of voices and dances of that race of barefoot princes.
Ildefonso Falcones suggests us a travel to an exciting time tinged with prejudice and intolerance. From Seville to Madrid, from the tumultuous bustle of the gyspies to the majestic theaters of the capital, the readers will enjoy a historical fresco populated by characters that live, love, suffer and fight for what they believe is right.