Martinete del Rey Sombra

"He (Raúl Quinto) places himself between Marguerite Yourcenar and Éric Vuillard, and with this strategy he raises a novel that, despite its brevity, makes a tremendous noise when it falls on the table" - Álvaro Colomer, Cultura/s de La Vanguardia

"With the good taste for language and rhythm that characterises Raúl Quinto, this Martinete is one of the great novels of the season, which also puts its finger on one of the darkest and most savage episodes in Spanish history" - Revista Quimera

"Martinete del rey sombra should be studied in schools and high schools. It could be the class textbook to work on where the madness of intolerance can lead" - Eduardo Boix, Artes y Letras

Quinto belongs to "that constellation of authors born in the sixties and seventies who also conceive the novel as a formal and political laboratory. I am thinking of Marta Sanz, Isaac Rosa, Elvira Navarro and Gabriela Wiener. In their hybrid texts that speak, like Quinto's, about historical memory, social injustice or institutional violence" - Jorge Carrión

On 30 July 1749, under the reign of Ferdinand VI and by order of the Marquis of Ensenada, the mass arrest of the Spanish Gypsy population took place in what has come to be described as a failed extermination project: the Great Round-up.

“Martinete del rey sombra” recreates this forgotten episode, following the experiences of these gypsies from the night of their arrest until the amnesty granted eighteen years later, through improvised prisons, slave labour in the arsenals and houses of mercy, isolation, torture, illness, shipwrecks, mutinies and escape attempts; and, at the same time, it takes us into the life of the Court of the first Spanish Bourbons, offering a tapestry of political intrigues, scandalous luxuries and personal tragedies through a series of biographies as hallucinatory as they are meticulously documented.

A reflection on how history and oblivion are constructed in which Raúl Quinto once again breaks the limits of literary genres to tell what is never told.

“At twelve o’clock at night Granada receives the assault of the hunters, under the command of Brigadier Manuel Morón there are four pickets and five dozen horses, which undertake their wolf-like work through houses, caves and customs. From the sky they can be seen, torch in hand, like a dance of nameless fireflies tracing a map of fire towards the apex of the darkness, saying who knows what in the language of the stars. Nobody has a face tonight, we said, not even Manuel Morón, who at this moment is barely a blurred shadow, an extension of lead and bone of the tricorn, with his mouth full of orders and his heart wrapped in fog. Nor can we see that of the Marquis de la Ensenada or that of Gaspar Vázquez Tablada, dissolved in the calligraphy of letters and the melancholy echo of palaces. Nor much less that of any of the one hundred and eighty bodies that parade, bound hand and foot, through the streets of the city in the early hours of the morning”.