Portuguese / Brazil
Massarani, Mariana (illus.)
São Paulo: Companhia das Letrinhas, 2015. –  p.
Love | Death | Loyalty | Revenge | Picture book
Reading age: 7+
White Ravens issue: 2016
The tragic love between the Portuguese prince and later King Pedro the First and the Castilian noblewoman Inês de Castro has been deeply nested in Portugal’s cultural memory since the 14th century and numerous authors have already broached it literarily. Roger Mello, Brazilian Andersen Award winner for illustration, shows once again in “Inês” that he also writes marvellously. Told from the perspective of Beatriz, the second of four children from the illegitimate liaison between Pedro and Inês, we learn how both lived out their unconditional love against all obstacles, political scheming and social norms, until Pedro’s father, King Afonso, had Inês murdered. Years later, Pedro revenged himself in a macabre way, by forcing the royal household to pay respect to Inês’ exhumed corpse. Mello’s melancholic, rhythmic, melodic text is complimented by Mariana Massarani’s atmospheric, stirring illustrations. Against the colourful, flat background, the characters, drawn with soft pencil, seem like silhouetted actors on the stage of a paper theatre.