Babylon, 1580: Susana Martín Gijón

Babylon, 1580

Babylon, 1580

Babylon, 1580 is a thriller historical written by the Spanish lawyer, screenwriter and author Susana Martín Gijón. The work was published in 2023 by the Alfaguara publishing house. Most of the reviews regarding this book are quite ambiguous. On the one hand, they talk about the good work of documentation and character construction, on the other, about a tasteless or unexpected ending.

However, at the end of the day, many readers agree that, Despite the attractive plot and how interesting the society of 1580 is, portrayed brilliantly by the author, the rhythm is irregular and a little confusing. At the same time, Babylon, 1580 It is one of those novels that must be read to obtain a concrete opinion. In addition, the book has unmissable educational elements.

Synopsis of Babylon, 1580

The drawing of a Seville as it has never been seen

This novel begins with a terrible murder. Before Her Majesty's Indies Fleet manages to set sail, the face of a woman is found attached like a macabre mask to the bow of the Soberbia, the warship that opens the convoy. The figurehead is accompanied by the girl's red hair. The bizarre crime launches an investigation that is about to reveal more than one secret.

Later, Two childhood friends must join forces again to discover what is really happening.. One of them is Damiana, the manager of La Babilonia, the most sought-after brothel and close to the port neighborhood of Arenal, located in an area surrounded by high walls. The other is Catalina, who lives closed in the convent of the Discalced Carmelites, a few meters from the previous place.

The crown's best kept secret

Both Catalina and Damiana must risk their lives to find the answers they seek. What neither of them knows is that, At some point in their mission, they will find much more than they bargained for.. In this book, Susana Martín Gijón leaves modern-day Seville behind and embarks on that port city that sought its riches of gold and silver in the New World.

The historical context of the work is set in 11th century Seville, which was known for many things, among them, the number of bards and writers who attended its brothels to enjoy the pleasures of the flesh, company and drink. In this sense, There are not a few writers who talk in their works about Babylon and its most recurrent amenities..

A choral novel

Although the book revolves around Damiana's actions, it could be said that Babylon, 1580 features more than one protagonist. At the same time, the narration is by an unknown character, who recounts the events until reaching their outcome, because, as many readers affirm: this novel does not have an ending per se, since, apparently, the story is designed to be a saga.

Likewise, the narrative style is delicate and elegant, with short chapters in the best style of the gender thriller. Also The work has a rhythm that, in principle, is full of dynamism, at least until the middle of the work, where some scenes come into sequence that seem to be unnecessary or that simply encourage the plot until it becomes a bit vague.

About the unfinished ending of Babylon, 1580

It's not that the novel doesn't have an ending. per se, because it has it. However, this one feels completely open and unfinished. Except for the identity of the mastermind and the perpetrator of the murders or other details in the book, There are many questions, character arcs and mysteries that remain up in the air. Taking this fact into account, readers will most likely have to wait for a next installment.

Still, Neither the publisher nor the author have confirmed the continuation of this story. Despite the specific criticism regarding this theme, many readers are eagerly waiting to know the outcome of the main events of the plot and to once again encounter the magnetic setting of 16th century Seville.

About the setting of the work

The first place to discover in Babylon, 1580 It is the port of Guadalquivir, from where all the expeditions that cross the Atlantic depart to collect merchandise in the new world. However, the author does not stay in this shining part of this growing city, but immerses the reader in a plot of crimes, suspense and adventures, which take place in their underworld.

At the same time, the two main protagonists are as different as the setting, since one of them is a prostitute, and the other, a nun. Altogether, there are historical and fictional elements that are mixed to create a plot capable of transporting the reader to hot Seville, surrounded by garbage, where dust hits everyone who walks and where blood runs everywhere.

About the author

Susana Martín Gijón was born in 1981, in Seville, Spain. He graduated in Law and specialized in International Relations and Human Rights. His love for reading and writing began when he was very young. In the end, he opted for crime novels thanks to the influence of his mother and his grandmother, who were already regulars in consuming this literary genre.

She developed her career as a writer while working as a legal advisor, in addition to holding the position of general director of the Youth Institute of Extremadura, between 2007 and 2011, and also that of President of the Committee against Racism, Xenophobia and Intolerance. Likewise, she was Head of Rights for the Confederation of Autism Associations in Spain.

Other books by Susana Martín Gijón

  • More than bodies (2013);
  • From eternity (2014);
  • shipwrecked (2015);
  • Wine and gunpowder (2016);
  • Salamanca Pension (2016);
  • Destination Gijón (2016);
  • Medellín File (2017);
  • Progeny (2020);
  • Species (2021);
  • Planet (2021)

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