Sometimes at the lowest point in your life, fate will slip you a gift. Exotic adventure and a quest for redemption collide in this stunning new novel from Jane Johnson.
Kate Fordham, escaping terrible personal trauma, has fled to the beautiful sunlit city of Granada, the ancient capital of the Moors in Spain. There she is scraping by with an unfulfilling job in a busy bar. One day, in the glorious gardens of the Alhambraonce home to Sultan Abu Abdullah MohammedKate finds a scrap of paper hidden in one of the ancient walls. Upon it, in strange symbols, has been inscribed a message from another era. The message has lain undiscovered since before the Fall of Granada in 1492, when the city was surrendered to Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand.
Born of love, in a time of danger and desperation, the fragment will be the catalyst that changes Kate's life forever. An epic saga of romance and redemption, Court of Lions brings one of the great turning-points in human history to life, telling the dual stories of a modern woman and the last Moorish sultan of Granada, as they both move towards their cataclysmic destinies.
|Product dimensions:||6.30(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.50(d)|
About the Author
Jane Johnson is a novelist and publisher. She is the British editor for George R.R. Martin, Robin Hobb, and Dean Koontz, and was for many years publisher of the works of J.R.R. Tolkien. Married to a Berber chef she met while researching The Tenth Gift, she divides her time between Cornwall and Morocco.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Court of Lions is the latest novel by author Jane Johnson. In the present day, Kate Fordham is an Englishwoman living incognito in Granada, Spain. Kate is hiding from her abusive husband, James. One day Kate is visiting the Alhambra and finds a small piece of paper with unusual writing on it hidden in a wall in the garden. How long has that paper lain hidden in the wall? Kate meets friends at the Alhambra who help her discover what is on the paper and its origins. Kate is worried about her sister, Jess after she receives a coded email from her. James has found Jess and taken something very precious. It will not be long before he tracks down Kate. Blessings is a companion to Prince Abu Abdullah Mohammed in Granada in 1476. Blessings cares for Prince Abu aka Momo, but must keep his feelings to himself. As Momo gets older, the tasks set to Blessings by Momo become more challenging. Momo’s father, Sultan Moulay Hasan takes a mistress who will bring conflict to the palace that will forever change Momo’s life. Then there is Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand with their Inquisition. What will happen to Blessings and Prince Abu? Court of Lions is a dual time line story (alternating chapters). The book is a slower-paced story that took me a short time to become engaged. I found the writing to be descriptive. The vivid descriptions of the Alhambra (I adored the tile descriptions) and the region allow readers to visualize it (I would love to visit it). The historical sections seemed more alive than those set in the present day. As the book progresses, we find out why Kate is hiding in Granada, how she met James and what happened to their marriage. Kate was a bit of a contradiction (and a little hard to like at times). I thought she would be more afraid of getting involved with another man after her disastrous relationship with James. The romantic entanglement felt predictable, but he was needed to aid the story. Blessings history is revealed throughout the story. We find out why he had to leave his tribe and came to be with Prince Abu. Blessings was devoted to Prince Abu and would do anything he requested. I was curious as to how the two separate storylines related, but it becomes more obvious as the novel progresses. The author did a wonderful job at incorporating the history into the book. She made the time-period come alive and beautifully weaved it into her story. It is obvious that Ms. Johnson did her research for Court of Lions. Christopher Columbus even makes an appearance. Blessings story takes place over twenty years while Kate’s section encompasses less than one month. Some of the themes presented in Court of Lions are love, poverty, grief, heartache, differences and similarities between religions, religious persecution, friendship, greed, cultural discrimination, family, violence, war, bond between sisters, domestic abuse and passion. I do wish readers to know that there is foul language, graphic violence and descriptions of intimate relations included in Court of Lions. To discover what is written on the scrap of paper Kate found at the Alhambra and get swept back in time, then grab a copy of Court of Lions.
I did not know much about Granada, the ancient capital of the Moors in Spain before reading Court of Lions. As a dual narrative, the story goes between modern day and the 15th century. While the modern-day story was easier to follow, the 15th-century story was far more captivating. Blessing, the young boy’s story was well researched (based on facts) and quite interesting. Kate, the contemporary character was believable and sympathetic but appeared to be just a vehicle used to describe modern day Granada. The subject of her angst (abuse) could very easily be replaced with searching for a missing person or artifact. Or it could have been built around the Nest of Storks. She needed to be there for the juxtaposition of the modern with the ancient. But why she was there was not that interesting. Her story has been told time and again by others and with far better tellings. I received a free copy of the book from NetGalley and Pegasus Books in exchange for my honest review. Thank you. Pegasus Books Pub Date 03/06/18