Eleventh-century Andaluz. While Europe slumbers in the dark ages, Southern Spain is a beacon of enlightenment that draws artists, scientists and philosophers of all faiths. In this haven of tolerance, three boys meet by chance under a fig tree on a hot summer's day. An alchemist, a mason and a prince, they establish a secret brotherhood that will construct a great monument to astonish the world.
Andalucia, 1938. The Spanish Civil War is struggling to a close. A group of desperate Republican solders have kidnapped a former government minister and his grandson, and are holding hostages in a cathedral. They intend to sacrifice themselves and everyone else for their cause, in a final act of wanton death and destruction.
The discovery of an ancient book in a hidden space beneath the cathedral means nothing to the Republican soldiers. But to the hostages, the secrets it contains could offer their only escape.
Connecting two ideologically-torn worlds a thousand years apart, Adam Williams's new novel is another masterful adventure and a moving portrayal of love and friendship.