The Marrano Prince, the eighth volume in the continuing Ruach Ami Series, takes place in Spain two centuries after the establishment of the Spanish Inquisition and the Expulsion of the Jews. Deprived of the talents of its Jews, Spain has gone into steep decline, and France and England have emerged as the dominant powers in Europe. As the story unfolds, Spain and France are on the verge of a war in the Netherlands. A minister of the Council of State, who is also a secret Jew, is sent on a high-level diplomatic mission to the Netherlands, which turns into an unforeseen journey of discovery. When he finally returns to Spain, he finds his family has fallen under a cloud of suspicion, but before he can escape with his family he feels honor-bound to fulfill his duties to the king. In the meantime, he is being silently stalked by the evil confessor of the king and his minions in the Holy Office of the Inquisition. Before he realizes what is happening, a net of entrapment has closed around him. Danger and a sense of foreboding pervade the pages of this gripping book. The story moves inexorably through the halls of power in Madrid, naval battles on the high seas, the marrano community of Amsterdam, the dungeons of the Inquisition in Toledo, the bullfights in Pamplona and across the length and breadth of sun-drenched Spain. It is a story of courage and valor, of twists within twists, peopled with colorful villains and heroes. In his inimitable fashion, Avner Gold has woven a great deal of historical information and a sense of the times into the fabric of the story itself. However, an extensive historical essay, entitled "The Rise and Fall of Spain and Its Jews", has also been added to this book for the benefit of those readers who would like a better understanding of the evolution of the Jewish community of Spain and the origins and methods of the infamous Spanish Inquisition.
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