Moorish Spain is a very interesting period (and Granada and southern Spain in general are wonderful places to visit) with many popular histories ranging from the romantic perspective of "Ornament of the World" to more pragmatic views depicting an uneasy coexistence of the Big 3 Western religions through 700 years of Islam in al-Andalus. Tariq Ali chose the former interpretation as context for this historical fiction.
In Shadows of the Pomegranate Tree we get a deliberately-paced story of one family's divergent attempts to come to terms with dramatic changes taking place around them in the wake of the Christian reconquest of the Iberian Peninsula. This is a narrative, and what action there is typically takes place "off screen." The characters are well-developed; I found myself empathizing with them in the painful decisions they had to make, although I have no experiences in my life remotely similar to this I can draw from.
A well-written story, in spite of any liberties taken with the historical rendering. I don't remember how/why I came across this series, but I already have Book 2 waiting for me to crack it open... I think I will....Continua