By Gioconda Belli
On an time out from her boarding institution, younger Lucía meets Manuel—art historian and delightful storyteller—who stocks along with her the story of 1 of history's such a lot tumultuous loves: Queen Juana of Castile's mythical devotion to her husband, Prince Philippe the good-looking. Embracing a union thrust upon her by means of political necessity, Juana responds with the entire passionate abandon inherent in her fiery nature—and is compelled to pay a excessive cost for her sincere sensuality. For there are these on the Renaissance court docket who won't let such unabashed independence within the inheritor to 1 of the world's strongest empires—and they claim Juana mad, denying her ascension to the throne. yet is she really insane, or is she in basic terms a sufferer of her personal impetuosity and unbridled wish? Or is Juana a pawn in a fierce energy fight for keep watch over of the throne?
Lucía attends raptly to the story Manuel relates—and their very own tale starts to miraculously, dangerously reflect that of Juana the Mad and her cherished prince.
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Extra info for The Scroll of Seduction: A Novel of Power, Madness, and Royalty
I couldn’t think how briskly it used to be occurring, how fast the hearth was once spreading. The burning scent used to be insufferable. Chunks of blazing wooden have been starting to fall. the home was once filling with smoke. The roof used to be on hearth, it was once going up like a torch. “Manuel, my God, the manuscripts! ” i used to be getting in circles, now not realizing what to do. Manuel too had stopped brief. It used to be as though he couldn’t react. without warning, he rotated and ran again towards Águeda’s room. A moment later, I heard the locks being deactivated.
What stipulations? ” I requested. “I wish you to visualize the scenes I describe for you on your mind’s eye, to work out them and spot your self in them, to consider like Juana for a number of hours. It won’t be effortless for you firstly, yet an international created with phrases can turn into as genuine because the shaft of sunshine that at this second illuminates your arms. It’s been scientifically confirmed that even if we see a lit candle with our eyes open or think it with our eyes closed, the mind has a nearly exact response. we will be able to see with our minds and never simply our senses.
At the stairs and within the halls, I imagined that I heard a bit girl’s footsteps following me. I imagined little Catalina, wearing a rough woolen sack costume, trying to find somebody to play along with her within the grey rooms of that chilly, lonely condo on darkish afternoons. On New Year’s Eve we ate dinner early. The Denias weren’t within the behavior of ready up for hour of darkness with the conventional twelve grapes and revelry. Manuel did make one concession to joyful celebration, although, bringing out an almond tart. He used to be serving it whilst Águeda, in an by surprise sharp tone, requested whilst i used to be purported to return to varsity.
My son, the one that knew no mercy towards me. I got here OUT OF MY REVERIE. MANUEL HAD THROWN ME A BLANKET. “You should disguise up,” he stated. bankruptcy nine whilst I lower back to the boarding institution I acknowledged I had already eaten dinner and went as much as my room. I walked down the slim aisle and its small, wood bed room doorways, coated up one by one on both sides. i may listen sounds popping out from in the back of a number of of them. Going into others’ rooms was once strictly forbidden through the nuns. I knocked on Margarita’s door, yet she wasn’t in, so I went to mine, pondering I’d take a bath.
I buried myself in a bearskin, shivering less than the hood as I licked my cracked lips, making an attempt to not take into consideration the Flemish within the retinue who might without doubt be cursing this completely inhospitable welcome to Spain. thankfully we have been capable of leisure in Segura, even if now not ahead of the nobles, settlers, and population paid us homage, lots of them having come from miles round for the celebrations and royal viewers that left Philippe and me exhausted. a number of DAYS LATER within the EBRO VALLEY, ON OUR option to CASTILE, excessive spirits back.