1. This novel carries the epigraph "Hidden in his papal ring, there lives a demon." What does this mean in relation to the novel?
2. Cristina wears two rings. Compare and contrast these pieces of jewelry. What do they each represent? How are they at odds?
3. Cristina sees herself as someone for whom catastrophic events cause a kind of impulsiveness, even arousal. What significant events in the novel have this effect on Cristina, and what does she do as a result? Objects, scents, and sounds often trigger memories. What triggers memories for Cristina, and what does she remember?
4. Were your suspicions aroused when Artur Boix first appeared sitting next to Cristina on the plane? Why or why not? What did you think he was up to?
5. Cristina says that, as a lawyer, she is well trained to pay close attention to detail. Do you agree with this assessment of her? Why or why not?
6. As Alicia examines the Templar ring, she explains that rubies come as male and female, Mars and Venus, and that the temperament of each is different accordingly. Discuss the many ways in which male and female roles and sexism come into play in this novel.
7. Alicia Núñez is one of the most complicated, mysterious characters in the book. Luis calls her a witch, Cristina's mother doesn't trust her, but the neo-Templars follow her, and Oriol encourages Cristina to share her visions with her. What do you think of Alicia? Did your o