The author brings us into the years following Carlos I’s coronation as emperor. Once the difficulties with secession are resolved after the death of his grandfather Ferdinand of Aragon, made worse by the inability of his mother, Joanna the Mad, to govern, young Carlos, already ruling as King of Castile and Aragon, is proclaimed emperor after depositing a large quantity of money with the seven electors capable of nominating him. Now the most powerful monarch in the world, lord of half of Europe and the Indies, he will be forced to face the disunity plaguing the Christian world in its confrontation with the Turks. In doing so, he will have behind him the whole of Spain, whose kingdoms he will try to bring together. As King and Emperor, Carlos of Austria needs to assure the future of his line, and will marry his cousin Isabella of Portugal, united with her by a passionate love tested by his long journeys through Europe. She will give him several children before finally dying in childbirth. Amid the whirlwind of events during the formation of the empire, the converted Jewish family Losantos will play an important role. Juan Losantos will be persecuted by the Inquisition for his homosexuality, and Pablo will stay on as doctor to the court, attending to the emperor’s illnesses and acting as frequent counselor and confidante.
Ambition, sex, power: The grand saga of the forging of an empire