The Fourth Sword (La cuarta espada)

An immersion within the mind of the murderer that became a god.

Abimael Guzmán was the most dangerous man in Peru, and the most lethal terrorist in Latin America. The day he got in jail, arrived the long-awaited end of the war between the government and the Shining Path, a terrorist group that caused more than 70.000 victims in Peru during the 1980s and the 1990s.

Through the testimonies of Guzmán himself and many other members of the Shining Path, Roncagliolo tries to find out what made it possible for a terrorist to be worshipped as a god by big amounts of people, and how one single person has such ability to persuade the entire society.

This story is a journey throughout the personal life of the terrorist leader; from the moment he was just an innocent 8-year-old boy, up to his transformation into a man that even nowadays still provokes concern and nervousness among the people.


RELEVANT INFORMATION: Highly acclaimed by the critics, this is the first published novel ever that openly exposes the internal modus operandi of the Shining Path with information provided by the participants themselves.

Terrorism caused in Peru more than seventy thousand victims, including both deceased and missing, during a war that lasted for 20 years. In this novel, based on brutal real facts, the several-time-awarded and prestigious Santiago Roncagliolo makes a research on the origins and consequences of the events through the biography of Abimael Guzmán.

Santiago Roncagliolo is one of the most outstanding writers in the current Latin American literary landscape. After turning some of his novels into films, he dives in La cuarta espada into an obscure and corrupted world that changed the course of the Peruvian history.

The author has been awarded several prizes, like one Alfaguara Award, the White Raven Prize, the Carabela de Plata, one Independent Foreign Fiction Prize to the Best Translated Novel, and the El Barco de Vapor Award of Children’s Literature.


AUDIOVISUAL POTENTIAL: TV Series, Miniseries, Film, TV Movie.