Customer Reviews for

Shadows of the Pomegranate Tree: A Novel

Average Rating 5
( 2 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(2)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
Page 1 of 1
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 25, 2005

    Exquiste weave of history, defeat, romanticism and demise !!

    A marvelous book by a renowned writer and historian. This book starts at the setting of the decline of the Moorish empire in then Al-Andalus (Spain)and weaves a fictional but enticing intricate plot about love, heresy, royalty, power and demise of the grand empire by the barbaric Inquistion (Christians). This book takes the reader on a roller coaster ride from the apex to the abyss which can be best appreciated by an individual who is somewhat appreciative of Islamic history and its vast contributions to civilization.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 9, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    The Banu Hudayl family has a momentous choice to make, convert t

    The Banu Hudayl family has a momentous choice to make, convert to Christianity or die.  A Moslem family proud of their heritage, they are proud of the ancient stories displaying wisdom and at the same time warning of what leads to the demise of great Arab cities.  They lust as avidly as they brag about their Arab military history.  But the family has been divided in many ways by the hidden relationships begun and ending in disaster.  Now in 15th Century Spain a new danger looms.  The story begins with a huge book burning scene, the destruction of religious, scientific and artistic works worth a fortune but seen as nothing but heresy by the fanatical Ximenes de Cisneros, who is also the private Roman Catholic confessor of Queen Isabella.  Up to now the Church’s policy has been that reason would eventually compel the Moslem population to convert.  But Ximenes knows that only force and an ultimatum of life or death will bring about this change and at the same time cleanse the country of its impure residents.  He’s determined that his plan to guarantee this end is carried out to completion! Granada has fallen and now the outlying town where the Banu Hudayl family lives is next to fall!
    A chess set serves as the appropriate metaphor for this historically devastating time, the pieces representing Queen Isabella and the great grandfather of Yazid, one of the Banu Hudayl sons, who was once a very famous Muslim knight.  Yazid’s father doesn’t initially believe he and his family and peers are on the brink of annihilation, not until his brother Miguel, a convert and the Bishop of Cordova, begs and threatens him to convert or die.  For Miguel, survival is better than being dead but his family does not see it that way at all, at least not all of them.  
    While there are innumerable names mentioned, at times providing annoying confusion, it is clear who the protagonists are herein.  There is Yazid’s brother, Zuhayr, who’s been visiting a wise old man, Ibn Zaydun, whose past love story involved a family member supposedly gone “mad” because she could not marry her lover.  But Ibn Zaydun has used the years wisely, studying the ancient writings of Muslim philosophy and culture, and these are what he shares with Zuhayr.  The latter seems too interested in the story quality of what he hears, but later all these things will come to his mind’s foremost thoughts when he chooses to fight rather than surrender to the surrounding Christians. But this is no chivalric tale as Zuhayr comes to learn discernment between the time to strike, the time to do what needs to be done outside of a direct attack, and the time to withdraw to fight again at a better time.  
    There is also a feisty female character, Hind, a passionate woman who dreams of romanticized olden days that are rapidly dissipating, “Remember the shadows of the pomegranate tree during the full moon, Amira?  Remember what we used to say?  If the moon is with us, what need do we have for the stars?” 
    In between the constant debates about the Christian threat, there are lovely descriptions of the luscious Arab meals shared, palaces and homes with beautiful tapestries and artifacts within, snippets of quotes from famous Arab writers and scholars, and descriptions of clothing typical of the time and place of this notable Arab family.
    Many more intriguing tales and family interactions fill these intriguing pages.  This is the first of a planned quartet.  One often hears about the Crusades of earlier times, but this is the first work of fiction this reviewer has read that is a powerful account of what it was like to be a Muslim family and community threatened with extinction, all because of the rise of Christianity.  In one way, it’s a sad story but this family’s pride, humor, passion and pragmatic outlook are the noble characteristics that make this novel a wonderful read!  Definitely highly recommended and definitely looking forward to the next addition to this talented writer’s opus of well-established historical fiction!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
Page 1 of 1