THE SHINING CITY
The al-Andaluz series Book 1
by JOAN FALLON
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This is the story of a city, a city that is now in ruins and lies five kilometres outside of Cordoba in Spain: MADINAT AL ZAHRA. The story is set in the 10th century, a time when southern Spain was under the rule of the Moors. The ruler, Caliph Al Rahman III was rich, powerful and cultured. His caliphate was, at long last, at peace and the capital, Cordoba, was considered to be not only the most beautiful city in the civilised world but also the seat of learning and culture. Against this background we meet the artisan Qasim – he and his family have moved to Madinat al Zahra to make their fortune as potters.
Qasim is a good husband and father. He works hard, says his prayers and keeps out of trouble. But Qasim has a secret; his past is not what it seems. When a stranger arrives asking questions about him, and his youngest son falls in love with the caliph’s concubine, he realises that all he has worked for could be destroyed. He has to take action.