Castillos de fuego

Fireworks | Seix Barral, 2023

» 3rd reprint in 3 weeks after publication

Castillos de fuego is a novel that contains more truth than many history books. It captures the pulse of a moment when fear nearly overcomes hope and drowns the path of hope out of devastation. A rebuilding period: the war has only ended for some, yet no one is safe; not those who groveled at the dictator’s feet, nor those who fought to overthrow him.

Madrid, 1939-45: A heartrending period in history seems to be coming to a close, but the war isn’t over for everyone.

Many are struggling to get out of a city beleaguered by hunger, poverty, and profiteering. Among them are Eloy, a disabled young man trying to save his imprisoned brother from the death penalty; Alicia, a box-office clerk at a local cinema who lost her job for following her heart; Basilio, a professor bracing for a purge of academia; Matías, a member of Franco’s Falange Party who traffics in seized goods; and Valentín, who is capable of countless vile acts so long as he can wipe clean the record of his former militance. Seamstresses, students, cops: this is a phenomenal fresco of the lives of everyday people during extraordinary times.

Ignacio Martínez de Pisón is back with an ambitious choral novel that combines a masterful and well-supported historic setting with the fascinating lives of unforgettable characters, marking the culmination of his illustrious literary career. Ignacio Martínez de Pisón’s most thrilling novel yet.