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Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite
The Castilian Pomegranate is a work of historical fiction penned by author Anna Belfrage. The work forms the second book of The Castilian Saga and is written for the mature adult reading audience owing to the presence of sexual situations and graphic violence appropriate to the brutality of the time. In the thirteen century, we find ourselves back with Robert FitzStephan and his wife, Noor, where they have been tasked with an impossible, heart-wrenching chore. The couple has been asked to abandon their foster son Lionel while overseas and to recover a precious jewel – the titular Castilian Pomegranate – but both of these tasks have their own sets of danger and resistance.
Author Anna Belfrage packs a lot into this immersive and engaging historical novel. Yet, it also seemed to fly by in a flurry of excitement because it was so easy to read. The historical details of the work were finely tuned and cinematically descriptive, giving a wonderful sensory feel to the experiences of our central characters. I enjoyed Noor’s energy and fierce nature very much in a new land with new encounters, but I also felt for her deeply when she was put to the test. I also enjoyed the overtones of the period itself, nuanced as it was with the political climate, cultural tensions, and power struggles of the day. This makes for a compelling and believable read with real people who you care for deeply by the novel’s conclusion. Overall, I would highly recommend The Castilian Pomegranate for fans of exciting historical adventure, romance, and drama who are keen to encounter a talented writer and a standout series.