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Emeralds of the Alhambra (Anthems of al-Andalus Series)

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  36 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
For hundreds of years, Christians, Muslims and Jews lived together in peace, sharing languages and customs, and embracing a level of tolerance and mutual respect unheard of today. Working together, these three peoples spawned one of the great intellectual and cultural flowerings of history in medieval Spain.

Historical novel Emeralds of the Alhambra reawakens this remarkab
Paperback, 415 pages
Published June 15th 2013 by Sunbury Press
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Lisa Yarde
Jul 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
In Emeralds of the Alhambra, a medieval knight becomes embroiled in the court intrigues of Muslim Spain. He fights for his life against deadly assassins and struggles with his forbidden love for Layla, the most beautiful woman in Granada’s Alhambra. Born in Brittany, William Chandon rose from humble beginnings until he achieved the notice of the court of Edward III of England. English and French political interests in 14th-century Spain draw Chandon into the disputed frontier between Muslim Anda ...more
Jani Brooks
May 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
In 1367 the Iberian peninsula consisted of several kingdoms, including the Kingdom of Granada, the Kingdom of Castile, the Kingdom of Aragon, the Kingdom of Portugal, the Marinid Empire, and France. The Christian kingdoms were well on their way to purging the land of the Moors (as Muslims in Spain were called). The al-Andalus was the name given to the lands held by the Spanish Muslims. Granada, the last of the Moorish kingdoms, was ruled at the time by a moderate Arab of the Nasrid clan, Sultan ...more
Viviane Crystal
May 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
In today’s terrorist-dominant atmosphere throughout the world, it’s hard to believe that Muslims and Christians could live together in peace. But that’s not a point of view shared by John D. Cressler who has crafted a magnificent historical novel about the Castilian Civil War which occurred between 1367 and 1369. Two brothers, King Pedro and his bastard brother Enrique, are at war over portions of Spain, both eventually eying the Muslim city of Grenada. They plot to get enough money and the appr ...more
Xanat Meza
Apr 29, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: west
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 16, 2013 rated it liked it
Review originally posted at The Romance Reviews:

There are some books that have the power to transport, to create a world so detailed and emotional that readers will want to return again and again. EMERALDS OF THE ALHAMBRA excels at creating just such a reading experience. Though slow and detail-heavy in places, fans of historic novels will find much to enjoy in this first Anthems of al-Andalus Series.

The world of 14th century Spain was one where Christians
Christina  Torretta
Jun 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
This started very slow for me. I think it just wasn’t my kind of book. Honestly, I read a paragraph to my husband and he was enthralled while I was wanting him to do the review for me! Although I could tell that the history behind this story was very well done. John D. Cressler must have researched thoroughly, and it shows in the amazing details that he adds in for the wars, the language, the city, the people, etc. It's immaculate.

The synopsis of this story is really interesting and honestly, s
Apr 18, 2018 rated it it was ok
1.5/5 DNF Oh I wanted to love this book. I really really did. It is about a time and place which fascinate me, and it had all the potential to be *THE* book I've been looking for about medieval/Moorish Spain. And it had a lot of the features of a historical novel that I enjoy... maps, cast of characters, glossary of terms. But even with all that, I just couldn't bring myself to finish it. It was so incredibly boring. Four pages of architectural details for every one page of character or plot dev ...more
Jul 20, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: first-reads
I won a copy from Goodreads First Reads.

Okay, The Emeralds of the Alhambra is an okay book. No... Scratch that, The Emeralds of the Alhambra is an above average book.

The Emeralds of the Alhambra is set hundreds of years ago, where the people of the book lived and roamed freely. Specifically in Granada. Anyway, the plot is creative and twisty, but isn't anything too shocking or stunning. It's has a nice beginning and went off on the right foot. The writing is really descriptive and sometime repe
Elizabeth Varadan
Aug 20, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book very much. Below is a review I gave to Sacramento/San Francisco Book Review:

In 1367, Muhammad V is Sultan of Granada, the last outpost against Christian “reconquista” of Muslim Spain. His moderate government is tolerant; under his clan (the Nasrids”), Christians, Jews, and Muslims live together peacefully. But the Sultan’s conservative allies from the North African Marinid Empire are plotting his assassination.

King Pedro rules Christian Castille. His bastard brother, Enrique
Darlene Williams
Aug 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
Emeralds of the Alhambra squeaks it through with 4 stars because John D. Cressler has genuine storytelling talent.

Normally I do not rate books with several obvious copy editing errors and, in this case, a wee bit of uninspired dialogue.

However, overall, I feel John Cressler deserves accolades for his writing ability, and I am willing to support him on this basis.

I hope the next in the series is as compelling, with a better copy edit.

Jun 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads
I received this book for free through the Good Reads First Reads program.

I really enjoyed this book! It was very slow to start, and I even stopped reading at one point. I am so glad I came back to it. The love story was predictable, but plesant. I did enjoy that the sex was very mild.
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John D. Cressler is a historical novelist and professor at Georgia Tech. He has published five non-fiction books (two for general audiences), but his real passion is historical fiction and he is obsessed with the rediscovery of “la convivencia” (peaceful coexistence of Christians, Muslims and Jews) in medieval Muslim Spain. "Emeralds of the Alhambra," an interfaith love story set in 14th century G ...more
More about John D. Cressler

Other Books in the Series

Anthems of al-Andalus Series (2 books)
  • Shadows in the Shining City (Anthems of al-Andalus Book 2)