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Cathedral of the Sea

by Ildefonso Falcones

eBooks of the Month Historical Fiction

LoveReading View on Cathedral of the Sea

An epic of the 14th century which follows the entire life of a Barcelona boy and the cathedral he comes to love and helps to build.  Powerful, moving, engrossing, it charts his rises and falls as well as those of the city.  Highly evocative, rich in detail, one of the most compelling historical novels of the year, Cathedral of the Sea has a rare depth and sensitivity.  It’s weighty and well worth getting lost in, one of those books you mourn as the end draws near.

Comparison: Ken Follett, Carlos Ruiz Zafon, Neal Stephenson.

Sarah Broadhurst

Cathedral of the Sea Synopsis

A masterful eipc of love, war, treason, plague, famine, witchcraft, anti-Semitism and the Inquisition.

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 …

Cathedral of the Sea Press Reviews

'Sculpted and fluid...the international bestseller appears now in an impressively graceful translation which captures beautifully the archaic and lyrical tone of the narrative...Its beauty lies in its vivd exposition of the complexities of a bygone society' Independent on Sunday


'A powerful historical saga set in 14th century Barcelona that spans slavery, serfdom and anti-Semitism, friendship and thwarted love' Choice (Book of the Month)

'Falcones's intricately plotted novel rests on meticulous research...the ambitious yarn binds you into its thrall - a bold work of imagination, which pays homage to lives gone by as well as to the great church itself' Daily Express

'Turns on legal and financial manoeuvres rarely found in a historical novel. Passionate in explaning 14th century Barcelona, [Falcones] draws convincing pictures of its architecture and culture, right down to the basics such as the sewage exciting, very readable adventure novel, enriched by realistic descriptions of medieval life, work, finance and politics' Independent

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9780552773973
Publication date: 26/03/2009
Publisher: Transworld Publishers Ltd
Format: Paperback

Book Information

ISBN: 9780552773973
Publication date: 26th March 2009
Author: Ildefonso Falcones
Publisher: Transworld Publishers Ltd
Format: Paperback
Genres: eBook Favourites, Historical Fiction,

About Ildefonso Falcones

Ildefonso Falcones’ first novel, Cathedral of the Sea became a publishing legend with over a million copies sold in Spain alone. It has since been published in over forty countries, becoming a European bestseller. In his latest blockbuster, The Hand of Fatima, Falcones is marking the four hundredth anniversary of the expulsion of the Moors from 17th Century Spain. Falcones is a practising lawyer in Barcelona where he lives with his wife and four sons.

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