It is the year 1376.
A young sex-slave is freed after two years in a bordel in Cuenca and further year and a half in harems in Granada.
She travels home to the seaside village in the south east of Spain where she grew up and from which she was abducted following the death of her mother, the half-Moorish daughter of a Spanish landowner, and her a father, a Scottish knight in exile.
Her father’s old friend turns up and wants to take her home to Scotland and make her once again the Lady he is certain her father would wish her to be.
But now, at eighteen, and after all she has been through, she no longer thinks of herself as Lady Marian MacElpin. How could she? She is Maryam al Qartayanni, Mariana de la Manga, a Spanish whore “tainted” with Moorish blood.
She will try to behave like a lady, she tells him, but refuses to let him take her to Scotland, a place she has never even visited. However, she does agree to accompany him as far as Paris, a city she had dreamt of going to and studying in when she was a child at home.
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