Book I: There is a double storyline: the domestic story of the daughter (Leila) and the public story of the nation. Leila's father, Almamen, switches allegiances between Christian and Moor in what eventually becomes the famous Siege of Granada. Almamen attempts to guard his daughter's Jewish heritage by keeping her away from her Moorish lover, Muza. He inadvertently delivers her into the hands of the Christian monarchs, and Leila is subjected to the procedures of conversion by the queen's intermediary, Donna Inez. In the double story line, the conquest of Muslim Granada runs parallel to the conversion of the Jewish Leila. The characters meet at the altar of a convent in which Leila is about to take her vows as a nun, and her father kills her.