By the time the 16th century was drawing to a close in the Portuguese colony of Goa, the Catholic Inquisition was making excellent progress in its mission to keep all “sorcerers”—whether native Hindus or immigrant Jews—from practising their traditional beliefs. Those who refused to denounce others and give up their ways were either strangled by executioners or burnt alive in public autos-da-fé. By living just outside colonial territory, the Zarco family manages to stick firm to its Portuguese–Jewish roots. Tiago and his sister Sofia enjoy a peaceful childhood learning to illustrate manuscripts with their father, and secretly dipping into the heady chaos of the Hindu festivals celebrated by their beloved cook Nupi. As the children reach adulthood, the family is torn apart when first the father and then the son are imprisoned by the Inquisition. But who could have betrayed them?