Cologne, 15th Century. The winds of reform and change are whipping through a Europe still governed by old beliefs and superstitions. Access to knowledge is in the hands of the few. However, a small group of erudite men meeting in absolute secrecy are united by a common goal: to spread culture amongst the people. How? Through books. But beforehand they will have to overcome the barriers set in place by the church – which doesn’t want “dangerous” works such as the Gospels to reach the masses – and the nobility – who want to hold on to their privileges. One man rises to meet this challenge; a modest goldsmith named Lorenz, helped by his daughter. However, the price to be paid for his insolence could be high: his life and those of everyone close to him.
An intense and epic novel about the magic of books. Along the lines of The Pillars of the Earth: the struggle of one man to see his dream become reality.
Readers will find it easy to identify with the novel’s plot: the struggle between the corrupt and powerful who want to control everything and idealistic characters who rebel in support of a new invention.
The novel is like a fresco of the city of Cologne in the 15th Century. The author describes everything: the monuments, geography, merchandise, jobs of the period, food, streets, dress, interiors of the houses...