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Richard Zimler

Guardian of the Dawn

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The third novel in the Sephardic Cycle

After his Jewish family fled the Catholic Inquisition in Portugal, Tiago Zarco lives a tranquil existence in colonial India, enjoying secret sojourns with his sister into the heady festivities of the local Hindu culture while evading the ruling Portuguese authorities.

But as he comes of age in sixteenth-century Goa, Ti struggles to keep the far-reaching influence of the Inquisition from destroying his family and pulling him apart from the Hindu girl he loves. And when an act of betrayal sees his father imprisoned, he is forced to hunt down the traitor and make an unimaginable choice, triggering a harrowing journey that will show him the depths of human depravity and the poisonous salvation of revenge.

At once passionate, furious and hopeful, Guardian of the Dawn is both a saga of horrifying religious persecution and a riveting, tender multicultural love story.


‘Richard Zimler’s style is so limpid and encompassing that you begin to find your bearings in 16th-century Portuguese-occupied Goa faster than you may have thought possible!’ – The Guardian

‘Zimler is a master craftsman, and this book is Art... While the novel is a testimonial for the thousands who suffered under the Inquisition in India (it is based on real life narratives from the time), it is also a riveting murder mystery.’ – India Today


Richard Zimler was born in New York in 1956 and now resides in Porto, Portugal. His twelve novels have been translated into twenty-three languages and have appeared on bestseller lists in twelve different countries, including the United States, the UK, Australia, Brazil, Italy and Portugal. Five of his works have been nominated for the International Dublin Literary Award, the richest prize in the English-speaking world, and he has won several other accolades for his fiction across Europe and North America. The Incandescent Threads is the latest in his Sephardic Cycle, an acclaimed group of independent works that explore the lives of different branches and generations of a Portuguese-Jewish family, the Zarcos.

zimler.com | @RichardZimler