This novel is historical fiction set in fifteenth century Spain. The Inquisition thrived and terrorized those who deviated from church teaching (heretics). During this era King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella ended eight hundred years of Arab occupation and re-fashioned Spain. Seen through the eyes of a Christian knight and his Jewish wife, the novel is of enduring love against a background of intrigue, war and religious arrogance.
To inherit the throne of Castile, Isabella was required to marry a suitor chosen by the king (Henry IV, her half-brother). She refused, and in spite of consanguinity laws, married her second cousin, Ferdinand of Aragon. Upon the death of Henry IV, Isabella crowned herself Queen of Castile and secured the crown by victory in the war of succession.
Appointed by God, the monarchs won the war of the Reconquista and purged the infidel from Christian Spain. Ferdinand conducted the war. Isabella formed alliances, gave land grants to nobles and received vast sums of money from the church. After the war the monarchs issued The Edict of Expulsion. All Jews and Muslims were banished. Only Christians remained. Spain was now one country, of one faith, under God and pure of blood (Limpieza de Sangre).
Entwined in the novel are the fictional characters, Casiano, a Christian knight and Perla, his wife, a Converso Jewess. Unable to relinquish her traditional beliefs, she was denounced to the Inquisition and sentenced as a heretic. Casiano rescued her from the stake and fled. Freed from their imposed god, they found within themselves, God in whose image they were, the essence of their souls.