I'm noticing a common theme here. I can only say in my defense that I'm still reading literature as opposed to trashy romance novels.
auto-da-fe was held every year and the people were were still subjects of a king.
For all its commentary on power and religion, Baltasar and Blimunda lacks the devastation of Blindness. There were times when I was horrified by that book, but I still had to go on reading it.
Baltasar and Blimunda is a gentler tale, where the travails of the title characters are set against a painstakingly-researched background. There is a stronger element of magical realism here, and Saramago often inserts self-conscious commentary that the thoughts that his peasant characters are thinking were simply conjured up by an educated narrator.