On Hist Fic Saturday
Let's go back to ...1285
21 October 2021
The Castilian Saga #2
My thanks to the author for my copy of this book
An enraged and grieving queen commands them to retrieve her exquisite jewel and abandon their foundling brat overseas—or never return
Robert FitzStephan and his wife, Noor, have been temporarily exiled. Officially, they are to travel to the courts of Aragon and Castile as emissaries of Queen Eleanor of England. Unofficially, the queen demands two things: that they abandon Lionel, their foster son, in foreign lands and that they bring back a precious jewel – the Castilian Pomegranate.
Noor would rather chop off a foot than leave Lionel in a foreign land—especially as he’s been entrusted to her by his dead father, the last true prince of Wales. And as to the jewel, stealing it would mean immediate execution. . .
Spain in 1285 is a complicated place. France has launched a crusade against Aragon and soon enough Robert is embroiled in the conflict, standing side by side with their Aragonese hosts.
Once in Castile, it is the fearsome Moors that must be fought, with Robert facing weeks separated from his young wife, a wife who is enthralled by the Castilian court—and a particular Castilian gallant.
Jealousy, betrayal and a thirst for revenge plunge Noor and Robert into life-threatening danger.
Will they emerge unscathed or will savage but beautiful Castile leave them permanently scarred and damaged?
📖 My Thoughts..
In The Castilian Pomegranate, Robert FitzStephan and his beautiful wife, Noor, find themselves temporarily exiled abroad as they travel the war ravaged lands of Aragon and Castile on a mission for the English Queen Eleanor, who has given them the task of retrieving a precious jewel which is hers by right of birth. Those who have read the first book in this series will already be familiar with the complicated reasons why FitzStephan and his wife are exiled and the author does a great job of reminding us of those reasons whilst explaining the background for readers who are perhaps reading this book as a standalone story.
The action gets under way quickly and Robert and Noor soon find themselves caught up in the political maelstrom which is facing a very divided Spain, as not only is it at time of great danger for all who travel through the country, but equally for Robert and Noor, guarding their own secrets, it is a country where they need to be very careful not to get on the wrong side of their enemies. From the start of the story I felt I travelled the dusty roads alongside Robert and Noor, experiencing their fights and challenges and becoming embroiled in the danger which is never far away and which seems to wait for them around every corner.
Whilst it is perfectly possible to read The Castilian Pomegranate as a standalone story, I do feel that you should start with the first book, The Castilian Hawk, not just to become familiar with the complicated politics of medieval Europe, but also to fall under the spell of beautifully imaged characters which the author brings to life in such glorious detail.
The Castilian Pomegranate is an adventurous historical novel, richly detailed and beautifully authentic. It's been really interesting to observe medieval history from the perspective of a divided Europe and this talented author certainly knows how to bring history alive in a very special way
About the Author
Had Anna been allowed to choose, she’d have become a time-traveller. As this was impossible, she became a financial professional with two absorbing interests: history and writing. Anna has authored the acclaimed time travelling series The Graham Saga, set in 17th century Scotland and Maryland, as well as the equally acclaimed medieval series The King’s Greatest Enemy which is set in 14th century England.
The Castilian Pomegranate is the second book in The Castilian Saga.