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Reviewed by Dr. Karen Hutchins Pirnot for Readers' Favorite
In her latest novel, Sultana, Lisa Yarde has provided the reader with an exciting glimpse into thirteenth century Spain, into the house of the last ruling Muslim Sultan who resides in Granada. The reader is treated to introductions of the working of royal family, with their public displays of ceremony and their private trials and tribulations.
As the story begins, eight-year-old Fatima, oldest daughter of the Sultan, has married a cousin by the name of Faraj who is ten years older than his new bride. The interactions between Fatima and Faraj over the years are respectful and filled with emotions to which the ordinary reader could readily relate. The author researched for years before writing this novel, and her meticulous use of history interwoven with the everyday trials and tribulations of the humanity of the time, is truly masterful. The reader finally understands that power, royalty and privilege offer little protection from the needs and whims of the enemy.
This is a novel which will appeal to historians and romantics alike. The author provides just enough history to tease and educate the reader and, at the same time, weaves in exactly the right amount of emotion and human interest from her characters to hook the reader from the get-go. For those who say that history is boring, this reader would respond, "Then go pick up a Lisa Yarde novel." Historical fiction takes a special kind of literary skill and this author has it!