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La esclava de marfil / The Ivory Slave

La esclava de marfil / The Ivory Slave


The 17th Century. In the weak light of a Lisbon dawn, Isabel of Varela, an enigmatic and mysterious sixteen year old, is silent as her father, in reduced circumstances, forces her to embark on a ship bound for Africa along the exotic and unknown spice routes. Riddled with doubt, she risks a marriage to a king who has converted to Christianity in an effort to evangelize the heathen coasts. The artificial marriage will end in a terrible bloody war in which conflicting religious and economic interests will lead to the massacre of 300 martyrs in Mombasa, a queen trapped in a harem dreaming of her return to Spain and a sultan tempted by piracy in the Red Sea. The 21st century. Carmen, a university professor disillusioned with her life, is seduced by Isabel’s dramatic story. She decides that it would be the perfect subject for her doctoral thesis. Without hesitating, she journeys to Kenya and her research begins to mingle with the beauty of the landscape. Little by little she becomes immersed in a spiral of fascinating mysteries – influences from India, the Christian fish symbol, etched on stones or in carvings – that surround the life of her protagonist and will join her life to Isabel’s, until reaching the point when it is impossible to understand one without the other. Carmen’s repressed romantic instincts and creativity will have room to roam on the savannah and the shores of the magical Swahili coast. Her discoveries will end in a surprising finale. A novel full of love, adventure, eroticism, charm and mystery on the African continent.

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A novel full of love and African mystery in which the life of Isabel of Varela, a seventeenth century queen, becomes entangled with that of a university professor.

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Dom Quixote (Portugal).

Technical data

Publishing date: 2005/05/05 | 320 pages | ISBN: 978-84-270-3144-9