El Concierto de Aranjuez (above left) courtesy of Marc and Helena Prats. Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela (right), reputedly the burial site of Saint James and the destination for pilgrims on the El Camino de Santiago, “The Way of Saint James”. The blood-stained sword is the traditional symbol for the Order of Santiago.
Sonja and Jason learn that Francisco d’Almeida took part in the 1492 siege of Granada. Here he obtained a long-lost manuscript from the Moors, known as the Sierra Nevada, which contained Aristotle’s last letters to Alexander the Great. Sonja and Jason trace the missing work to Santiago de Compostela where, allegedly, Almeida had shown it to the German alchemist Basil Valentine. Fearing the rising tide of religious intolerance in Spain, Almeida had the work couriered across the border. Curiously, Almeida was also the confidant of Ferdinand and Isabella, the two Catholic Monarchs of Spain. Through an ever-deepening enquiry, Sonja and Jason uncover a sinister link between the Spanish Pope Alexander VI, Ferdinand and Isabella, and Philip II of Spain.