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Sultana: Two Sisters (A Novel of Moorish Spain) by [Lisa J. Yarde]

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Sultana: Two Sisters (A Novel of Moorish Spain) Kindle Edition

4.0 out of 5 stars 11 ratings
Book 3 of 6: Sultana

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Length: 460 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled Book 3 of 6 in Sultana Age Level: 16 - 18
Grade Level: 12 - 12
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Editorial Reviews


"What a beautifully written novel, and such mastery at crafting the world of Moorish Spain. I wanted to keep reading. 

An intelligent, exotic romance meets with Granada Palace intrigue, in this enthralling tale of rivalry, betrayal, love and the ruthless quest for power. The scheming of palace women striving for influence was highly entertaining, as was the nuanced exchanges between rival women. " - Laura Rahme, Goodreads

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 is this novel called Sultana: Two Sisters? The heroine and antagonist have a deep bond of friendship (perhaps a little one-sided) as the novel opens, a relationship torn apart as each struggles to find her place in a strange society. They also share a secret heritage, representing the intersection of the three sister faiths, Judaism, Christianity and Islam.
  2. What might readers gain from this novel? An understanding of medieval society in Spain, the role and contributions of the Moors in the country's history, especially at Granada's Alhambra, and perspectives on the plight of captives during the period.  
  3. What is one trait the heroine and main antagonist both possess? Both women are caring and excellent mothers, each absolutely devoted to her offspring and willing to do anything to ensure the future of those children. 
Sultana: Two Sisters takes place in fourteenth-century Moorish Spain, during the reign of Sultan Abdul Hajjaj Yusuf I of Granada. It is a fictional account of his two wives, Butayna and Maryam. Both women endured lives as slaves in Yusuf's harem before they became his constant companions and the mothers of his heirs.
When I first wrote about the Nasrid Dynasty, I had not planned further books beyond the stories told in Sultana and Sultana's Legacy. As I delved into the history of the protagonists in those two books, the lives of their descendants captured my imagination. For the next novel, I knew the story of the Nasrid Dynasty was not enough. The plight of millions of captives stolen from their homes across the Mediterranean, as represented by the experiences of the slaves Butayna and Maryam, became the subject of Sultana: Two Sisters.
Inspiration for this novel also came from the relationship that Sultan Muhammad V, Yusuf and Butayna's son, fostered with the Jews. The Jewish community of Granada gave Muhammad V a spectacular gift in the twelve marble lions whose figures now adorn the Patio de Leones in the Alhambra. Each of the lions represented a tribe of Israel and came from the house of a Jewish vizier, Samuel ha-Levi Ben-Yusef ibn Nagrela, who served the 11th century rulers of Granada. Today, the lion figures still surround the same 14th century basin installed during the reign of Muhammad V. While Spanish Christians throughout Castile and Aragon persecuted the Jews, Muhammad V offered the beleaguered Sephardic people Granada as their haven. I wondered whether a personal connection could explain his behavior. 
Whatever the truth of their circumstances may have been, Maryam and Butayna were sisters in faith, through their belief in the same God, as well as sisters in bondage within the palace of Alhambra. Each played her part in shaping the future of Muslim Spain. I hope readers will be fascinated by their stories in Sultana: Two Sisters, and the next title in the series, Sultana: The Bride Price (2014). The last two books in the series, Sultana: The Pomegranate Tree and Sultana: The White Mountains will be published in 2015.

Available books from Lisa J. Yarde
On 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)

Product details

  • File Size : 2796 KB
  • Publisher : Alhambra Press (January 20, 2014)
  • Word Wise : Enabled
  • Print Length : 460 pages
  • ASIN : B00E3N0AAK
  • Publication Date : January 20, 2014
  • Language: : English
  • Enhanced Typesetting : Enabled
  • Text-to-Speech : Not enabled
  • X-Ray : Not Enabled
  • Screen Reader : Supported
  • Simultaneous Device Usage : Unlimited
  • Lending : Enabled
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.0 out of 5 stars 11 ratings