El castillo de diamante

The Diamond Castle | Espasa, 2015

During the reign of Felipe II, two women —Ana de Mendoza, the Princess of Eboli, and Saint Theresa— waged a battle to the death, each in their own way striving to gain a foothold in a world that sought to crush them. The first, in search of earthly glory, sought to reign supreme among the greats of Spain; the second, seeking full union with the Lord, stood up to religious hypocrisy and outwitted the powers that be.

While both women yearned to see their innermost desires come to fruition, they would end up at loggerheads when Ana de Mendoza called on Theresa to found a convent in Pastrana under her patronage. While Theresa acceded to the princess’ wishes between gritted teeth, it would not be long before sparks flew …

In The Diamond Castle, Juan Manuel de Prada recounts this quarrel with considerable flair and panache, while also looking deep into the soul of two singular, irrepressible women, offering up a strikingly original take on a time in which the most varied expressions of religious faith ran up against the political class. And all of this in a style that draws on the Teresian school of spirituality, the picaresque novel, the esperpento of Valle-Inclán and Cervantine humour.

An adventure in saintliness and the struggle for power depicted in a novel of divine chivalry that takes its rightful place alongside the finest works in the Spanish literary tradition.