History and Women

Women's History, Biographies, and Historical Fiction Books

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Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Sultana and Sultana's Legacy by Lisa J. Yarde

Intrigue, deception, and murder in 13th century Moorish Spain


Sultana

Overview

In thirteenth-century Moorish Spain, the realm of Granada is in crisis. The union of Fatima, granddaughter of the Sultan of Granada, with the Sultan’s nephew Faraj has fractured the nation. A bitter civil war escalates and endangers both Fatima and Faraj’s lives.

All her life, Fatima has sheltered in lavish palaces where danger has never intruded, until now. A precocious child and the unwitting pawn of her family, she soon learns how her marriage may determine her future and the fate of Granada. Her husband Faraj has his own qualms about their union. At a young age, he witnessed the deaths of his parents and discovered how affluence and power offers little protection against indomitable enemies. Guilt and fears plague him. Determined to carve his own destiny, Faraj struggles to regain his lost inheritance and avenge his murdered family.

Throughout the rugged frontiers of southern Spain, the burgeoning Christian kingdoms in the north and the desert states of North Africa, Fatima and Faraj survive ruthless murderers and intrigues.

They unite against common enemies bent on destroying the last Moorish dynasty. While Fatima and Faraj establish a powerful bond, the atmosphere of deceit creates opportunities for mistrust and tests their love.



Sultana’s Legacy

Overview


In thirteenth-century Moorish Spain, the Sultanate of Granada faces a bleak future, as a tyrant seizes control.

Fatima, the daughter of a Sultan, and her devoted husband Faraj have enjoyed years of peace and prosperity. Now, a power-hungry madman claims the throne. He murders almost everyone Fatima holds dear. His reign fractures a weakened Sultanate, under siege from Christian kingdoms to the north and Moorish dynasties in the south.

Fatima must preserve the legacy of her forefathers at all costs. She risks everything, even the love and trust of her husband. Amidst treachery and intrigue, she stands alone against her adversaries, determined to avenge terrible losses. Can she survive the test of divided loyalties and shocking betrayals?



Review
 

Sultana and its sequel, Sultana’s Legacy, are wonderful historical fiction novels set in 13th century Moorish Spain. It is a tale of a young royal woman named Fatima, the Sultan’s granddaughter, her husband Faraj, and an extended family fuelled by personal ambition and discord. Together, the novels span their entire lives. As one reads, one fully experiences how the characters evolve and are driven by circumstances that ultimately destroy family loyalties.

Author Lisa Yarde brings to life an ancient world filled with beautiful description and vibrant characters. One cannot help but enjoy this rich story because of its beautiful prose and exotic setting. Filled with betrayal, plenty of suspense, and vengeance, this well-conceived and well-executed story is ripe with intrigue and speaks to the resilience of the human spirit.

Sultana and its sequel, Sultana’s Legacy, are the culmination of years of research, travel, and writing - a tale that is spellbinding because of its passion and intrigue. The author travelled extensively to the Al Hambra, walking its corridors and grounds getting a sense of the surroundings in which the heroine, Fatima, lived. This is why these novels resound with readers. It is the type of novel that will sweep you away into another world and time, and will keep you reading long past bedtime. I loved both of these novels, and I highly recommend them! A must read.

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