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Travel to the Catalan Pyrenees with Marta Renato’s debut Spanish novel

  • Submitted: 22nd April 2024

Travel to the Catalan Pyrenees

Travel to the Catalan Pyrenees with Marta Renato’s debut Spanish novel .A treat for St Jordi today!

I’ve just read an historical fiction novel set in 1522 in the Catalan Pyrenees by a Spanish author. It’s part of a series and this is the first, and very impressive debut!

Sendero de Estrellas – Path or Trail of Stars

Sendero de Estrellas – Path or Trail of Stars

This is the first in the series of a story about a girl, Núria who becomes an orphan at the tender age of 10. An albino healer takes her in and looks after her.

Sendero de Estrellas – Path or Trail of Stars

No wonder she  grows up to be a girl who is fascinated by and very talented in the making of natural remedies with the plants which grow around her on the mountains.

She has always wanted to trace her remaining family however and so, with the help of Guim, a young medical student. Their jouney across this land will be hard and long but the dangers are many. They have to eat, to survive and to be able to make money from their craft but avoid persecution and suspicion.

Sendero de Estrellas – Path or Trail of Stars

Meanwhile, we meet Feliu,  a young priest who goes to work in one of the remote villages in the Pyrenees It’s his job to look into the swirling rumours of witchcraft and soon his and Nuria’s path will cross.

Sendero de Estrellas – Path or Trail of Stars

The wonderful world created in this novel reveals the Catalonia of the 16th century. This was a time where medicine and ways of healing were said to be a battle between science, medicine and magic. Nuria walks that fine line between the two and it’s wonderful to discover what she discovers, how she learns to heal and what society at that time made of such potions and alternative ways of healing. Each chapter is divided into a plant or flower that is used in potions in the book. You find out what each of them mean and it becomes a wonderful flower trail!

Sendero de Estrellas – Path or Trail of Stars

The location of the story is Cerdanya. This is an historical region of the eastern Pyrenees divided between France and Spain. Historically it is described as a transit area for pilgrims and healers. So, it proves to be a fascinating area to time travel to via this book!

You can so imagine yourself wandering around these quaint villages in the Pyrenees. To be fair, they don’t look too different to how they are described in the novel. This is such an immersive read. It’s also a fascinating one mixing science, fear, tradition and society expectations into a story with heart and soul.

Hope this is translated into English one day. There’s lots of interest for English readers to learn more about ancient medicines and witchery tales in the Catalan Pyrenees!

 

BookTrail Boarding Pass: Sendero de Estrellas 

Twitter: @marta_rnt

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