Lisa J. Yarde Sultana

ISBN 13: 9781456487614

Sultana

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9781456487614: Sultana

Book #1 of the Sultana series.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. 

Snippet: 

Aisha smiled again, but it seemed sad. "Hush now, child, listen well. Understanding shall come. Even when you must do what others command, never forget the power of your own reasoning. One day, your husband may rule your body, he may even come to rule your heart, but your mind is and always must be your own, where none but you may rule. Promise me that you shall never forget these words." 

Fatima swayed slightly. Her throat hurt, but she whispered, "I promise." 

She returned Aisha's intent stare, for the first time, unafraid. Aisha's eyes glistened like gems in the lamplight. 

"This is the only measure of advice I can give you, Fatima. You must learn the ways of men, as I have. Do not trust in men alone. Love, be dutiful and respectful, but trust yourself and your instincts first. They shall always guide you rightly."

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From the Author:

For centuries before the Catholic monarchs conquered Granada and claimed its beautiful Alhambra, a diverse people ruled Muslim Spain. These are their stories.

  1. Why Moorish Spain? For the beauty and tragedy of the period. Moorish culture and scientific understanding flourished in the Middle Ages, but this was also a time of religious fervor, intolerance against Jews and the Black Death.
  2. Why an obscure family like the Nasrids as the protagonists? For many, Spain's history begins with Isabella and Ferdinand or Columbus' voyages. Sultana and the books in the series take readers into a period where the Nasrids held out against the advance of the Catholics for over two centuries. Only a remarkable family could have survived such odds.
  3. Why Fatima as the protagonist? She exemplified all that was remarkable about her family, with her cultured background, her lineage and the descent of all those who ruled Granada from her royal line, and the events she endured. She suffered great tragedies, but kept her family together.   
Sultana is a story of revenge and intrigue, the fragile bonds between a family, and the redemptive power of love and trust. The novel takes place during a turbulent period in 13th century Moorish Spain, when the union of a child bride and her groom, precipitated a civil war. Fatima is the eldest granddaughter of the reigning Sultan of Granada and Faraj is his nephew. Although the couple shares the same noble heritage, each acts with separate, sometimes contrary purposes that often bring them into conflict. Fatima is devoted to her family, while Faraj, who is ten years older than her, has one cause in mind - to regain a heritage lost in the wake of his father's brutal death. The union of Faraj and Fatima has endangered both their lives. It has turned the Sultan's one-time allies into powerful enemies. In addition, the Christian kings of Castile and North African Muslim rulers have their own designs on Granada. Fatima and Faraj have to overcome their initial mistrust and misunderstandings of each other. If they do not unite in a struggle against common enemies, Granada will fall.  
 
While in college, I learned of the Islamic presence in medieval Europe. For seven hundred years, a diverse people known as Moors had ruled what would become one of the most influential Catholic nations. I wrote Sultana after many years of research into the lives of the last dynasty to rule the southern half of the country, the Moorish family of Banu'l-Ahmar, alternatively known as the Nasrids in a later period. They ruled from the Alhambra, one of the finest examples of Moorish architecture in the West. Fatima and Faraj played pivotal roles in the history of the Nasrids. I hope readers will share my fascination with the Alhambra, the Moorish period, and Fatima and Faraj's lives. The series continues with Sultana's Legacy (2011), Sultana: Two Sisters (2013), Sultana: The Bride Price (2014), Sultana: The Pomegranate Tree (2015) and Sultana: The White Mountain (2015).
Available books from Lisa J. YardeOn Falcon's Wings (2010)Sultana - Vol. 1 of the Sultana series (2011)Sultana's Legacy - Vol. 2 of the Sultana series (2011)Long Way Home: A Novella (2011)The Burning Candle (2012)Sultana: Two Sisters - Vol. 3 of the Sultana series (2013)Sultana: The Bride Price - Vol. 4 of the Sultana series (2014)

About the Author:

Lisa J. Yarde writes fiction inspired by the Middle Ages in Europe. She is the author of two historical novels set in medieval England and Normandy, On Falcon's Wings, featuring a star-crossed romance between Norman and Saxon lovers before the Battle of Hastings in 1066 and The Burning Candle, based on the life of one of the first countesses of Leicester and Surrey, Isabel de Vermandois. Lisa has also written four novels in a six-part series set in Moorish Spain, Sultana,Sultana's Legacy, Sultana: Two Sisters, and Sultana: The Bride Price where rivalries and ambitions threaten the fragile bonds between members of the last Muslim dynasty to rule in Europe. Her short story, The Legend Rises, chronicles the Welsh princess Gwenllian of Gwynedd's valiant fight against twelfth-century English invaders and is available now.
 
Born in Barbados, Lisa currently lives in New York City. She is also an avid blogger and moderates at Unusual Historicals. She is also a contributor at Historical Novel Reviews and History and Women. Her personal blog is The Brooklyn Scribbler.
 
Learn more about Lisa and her writing at the website lisajyarde.com. Follow her on Twitter or become a Facebook fan. For information on upcoming releases and freebies from Lisa, join her mailing list at eepurl.com/un8on.

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