Title: The Barefoot Queen
Original title: La reina descalza
Author: Ildefonso Falcones
Caridad, a black slave, get their freedom since its owner dies on the boat that came from the American colonies and it is granted before a notary. It is free to reach the port of Cadiz, but after being her life slave, not quite used to obtained freedom. He decides to head to Seville where it believes it will find refuge in a church for people like her; but you get there your life will be a return to inform Melchor.
Melchor, head of a Gypsy family disappears often for several days, leaving his family that it will survive without it cures in streets of Seville under the watchful eyes of Sheriffs that watch over them with magnifying glass; but whom he adores it is her granddaughter miracles, which try to protect from all.
Milagros, is a young sassy and vivacious Gypsy who lives with his parents surviving day by day as they can. It will friend of Caridad and will host it in his home teaching him what is free and what you can do with their freedom. But being a black friend will bring you problems, in addition to the disappearances of his grandfather are increasingly frequent and away the head of the family, another boss will take advantage of his absence to avenge that puts in danger to the two women.
What past hidden Melchor? Caridad will end up getting used to the freedom that is you to given? What hardship will suffer miracles without the protection of his grandfather?
From the first chapter, the tension between the characters in this novel is clear, but what you don’t expect is all events will be developed along it. In principle, the protagonist in a principle is charity, but throughout history, new characters appear and they all have a great weight in history that will do that it is go giving unexpected twists. Although it is true that there are three characters that stand out among the rest: charity, the free slave; Miracles, the gypsy girl; Melchor, the grandfather of miracles and boss of the Gypsy family of Los Carmona. These three characters have much weight in history both separately as when they are coupled between them. There are three paths intricate with the other which, in the end, definitely gather to give a sense ending to the story.
One of the things that I liked most is that the story unfolds entirely in Spanish territory and, above all, two major Spanish cities such as Seville and Madrid. They made an extensive tour from Seville where he began everything, even Madrid where the hardest part of the novel takes place. What I liked most is the well detailed which is the 18th-century Spain. The streets, social differences, the buildings that now seem grandiose, in those days were only a shadow of what they are now, like the Royal Palace which is very well described the beginnings of its construction and the impact that has that construction in the Madrid population. The Customs and way of life of the Spaniards in this century are very well written; Parties, how survived the most wretched in the dark streets of Spain, etc. All this makes the atmosphere that envelops the story much more real and, although hard to say it, more burdensome in certain spots.
Another thing that I liked enough, although it is hard to believe, is that throughout history, you are with a lump in the throat due to life so unhappy carrying players, handed down since its birth. Charity for being a black woman that since I had use of reason had been a slave in the American colonies, and despite having won freedom, his past pursue him; Melchor and miracles are condemned for being Gypsies, a life that is seen by the rest of citizens. The three represent the more low of Spanish society struggling to survive in it. But this book is not made for those easy-to-impress or are very apprehensive, because the events that take place are full of family intrigue, bloody and overwhelming situations. It is a book full of ups and downs, when you think that things are going to go well, there is a new setback that it gets worse all over what was already before, this creates an oppressive environment that can create sometimes anguish; but, in my opinion, these ups and downs are what makes this novel incredible because it does not seem at all what has been read before. Despite being an oppressive novel, you encourages to continue reading because you want to know how to solve the new problem presenting them and if the thing will end well.
I highly recommend this novel because it is very well written and the plot is unbelievable, engage from the first moment. Be brave and dare to dive into this story full of intrigues and hatreds.
Greetings, little people!