Another reading challenge! This time I found it a little more difficult to choose a book, as the task was simply: Read a book that is set in Europe. My own fault, as I set the task, but well, you learn from your mistakes ^^
Neithertheless, in the end – I chose this book:
This is the cathedral of the sea by the spanish writer Ildefonso Falcones.
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 newfound 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 …
I have read this book in spanish, the original title is la catedral del mar. It took me almost two weeks to read it, a big book, almost 700 pages ^^.
BUT! It is all worth to read! I could hardly put it away during the time I read it. It’s a great historical novel. You could almost say that it is an epic, because during the read we accompany young Arnau, and as he grows, the cathedral grows as well.
It resembles a little to certain books by Ken Follet, but I found it easier to read although all the topics you would expect did come up eventually: The plague, inquisition and antisemitism, just to name a few. I looked up the cathedral “Santa María del Mar”, which is an actual building in Barcelona and I found out that the novel is very true to the actual history, so it is not only entertaining, but also pretty educational. I like that about a book.
I enjoyed that book. I’d recommend to read it 🙂