It gives me great pleasure to share with you The Castilian Pomegranate by Anna Belfrage, a new historical romantic fiction set in medieval Spain and second book in The Castilian Saga. This is Anna’s twentieth 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?
You can read the beginning of The Castilian Pomegranate by Anna Belfrage below, just hit preview:
My Review of The Castilian Pomegranate by Anna Belfrage
Allow yourself to be transported to medieval Spain. You may not want to leave.
I admit, I delved into the second book of this series, The Castilian Pomegranate, yet I didn’t felt like missing much. The author offers sufficient contextual information so it can be read as a standalone. Nevertheless, I will now read His Castilian Hawk for the sheer pleasure of the storytelling.
Robert and Noor, husband and wife, are forced by their queen, Eleanor of England, to travel abroad, to Spain, on a secret mission – and not an easy one to succeed in as it involves going against the law, and against one’s heart. Their lives are soon tangled in a web of political ties as 13th century Spain is not a peaceful land. Husband and wife are soon separated by the war that Aragon and Castile are facing. And by personal ties (Noor’s mother being from Castile). Soon the strong bond between Robert and Noor is tested by deceit, desire, and vengeance – readers are shown how being blue-blooded can be a blessing, but also a curse.
Author Anne Blefrage is skilled at creating tension, be it on a battlefield, at the court, or in the boudoir and she paints crafty descriptions, be it the fragrant countryside or the rich interiors of a Spanish castle.
You will root for Robert and Noor throughout this book, read past your bedtime, and, more than once, your heart will sink.
I never went to Spain, nor was I fully aware of how complicated its medieval history was. But with The Castilian Pomegranate I felt its sun on my cheek, its fast rhythm in my fingertips, and allowed myself to be chilled by its cool, bygone breeze. A must read!