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The Saracen Storm: A Novel of the Moorish Invasion of Spain

4.37  ·  Rating details ·  1,558 ratings  ·  88 reviews
Based on historical figures and events, The Saracen Storm is the sweeping saga of one of Spain's best-loved heroes and the role he played in the nation's darkest period: the Moorish invasion of its lands in 711 AD.
When nineteen-year-old Pelayo, the illegitimate son of the Duke of Asturias, is asked to lead a cohort of soldiers to hunt down a party of Saracen raiders, he s
Kindle Edition, 514 pages
Published January 15th 2020 by ISBN Canada (first published December 26th 2019)
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J.M. Nunez This is the sort of granular detail that to my knowledge has not been recorded. But we do know that many of the Visigoths that migrated to Spain in th…moreThis is the sort of granular detail that to my knowledge has not been recorded. But we do know that many of the Visigoths that migrated to Spain in the 5th Century were Roman officers and legionnaires, who spoke Latin and had adopted Roman customs. Also Spain in the 5th C. was a important Roman province, which by all accounts continued to thrive after the fall of the Roman Empire in the mid fifth century. Though other tribes such as the Alans, Vandals and Suebi also settled in various areas of Spain, the Visigoths remained dominant and together with the local Spanish inhabitants probably maintained Roman customs and perhaps shaped the military structure and tactics into the late seventh century. Or at least that was the assumption I made.(less)
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Jan 02, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 5-stars, favorites
Excellent! This definitely was a book for a history lover. This was a new part of history for me. Though I've always known Spain's trouble with the Moors, I never knew when it begin.

I really loved Pelayo and Valentina. They both faced a lot of trouble and sadness. I was starting to wonder if anything else bad could happen to him. Luckily, He always previeled.

This was a well written, good read. I highly recommend for history lovers!
David Canford
Sep 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
An enjoyable read focused on the life of Spanish hero, Pelayo, who I had never heard of and of whom not a great deal, it would seem, is known. He is credited with leading resistance to the invasion by the Moors and keeping northern Spain out of their grasp. It’s a good ’swashbuckling’ kind of tale, albeit I could guess at the start of most chapters what was going to happen next. My main gripe is that it presents the invaders as uncultured barbarians, even though they would establish a society wa ...more
Helen Hollick
Jul 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
It is always a pleasure to pick up a book set in an era that is rarely represented in historical fiction. In this case, Mr Nunez leads us back to the years around 700 A.D, Spain. At the time, Spain did not exist. The former Roman colony had been invaded by the Visigoths some centuries after the birth of Christ, but now the various Visigoth kingdoms are quaking under the advance of the Saracen conquerors. It is a confused time, a time when the Christians are pushed further and further north. It i ...more
Richard Myers
Jan 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Wonderful book

This book is about the early invasion of Spain by the Moors (Islamic hordes). The character descriptions are very well done and I can picture them and the locations in my mind while reading. I recommend this book to everyone.
Feb 22, 2021 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Solid 2.5 stars, so I rounded up to three.
I don't know . . . *shrug* . . . I mean I finished it, so it wasn't all that bad. But I honestly don't know where all the four- and five-star reviews came from.
First, the story -- so many missed opportunities by the author. For example, when we first meet Diego, we see the skirmish coming and then the next chapter opens with the aftermath. Seriously? We don't get any fight details? What a perfect time to introduce the tactics and styles of each side.
Barefoot Gypsy Jimerson
Well I'm not really sure

I was really excited to read this book. But it just took to long to get going. I was expecting more.
May 12, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent historical fiction

Well researched and gripping, this action packed historical fiction period piece is a delight. I couldn’t put it down. Oh, and the hero gets the girl.
Lance A Impoco
Mar 02, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Saracen Storm

My preferred genre are westerns. But Saracen Storm was well written and an exciting adventure tale. Well researched and highly recommended.
Mr A J Landeg
A good read from beginning to end.

I knew very little about the Moorish invasion of Spain.But this book has inspired me to learn more. It was easy to read and I would recommend it to anyone.
Dennis Stokes
Mar 02, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wish I could give it 4.5 stars. It was an exciting story filled with rich characters that took the reader on a journey through an often forgotten period of history. It is no wonder that Spain and Portugal are replete with Islamic art and architecture after 800 years of conquest.
Liz C
Feb 17, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Good read

This was very good. I didn't know much about this part of Spanish history so if was an interesting read. I hope he writes more like this.
J Gemmell
Apr 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Excellent read

Very good read of political intrigue and treachery .Fast flowing with strong characters and good historical facts of the Moors in Spain .
Oct 28, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Story of Pelayo of Asturia, the Iberian hero who defied the Moor invader and supposedly starting the Reconquista (though it will take another 800 years to finish). The book is well written, very descriptive and the author manage to keep the pace of story well. However knowing a bit of Pelayo story and the Moor conquest of Spain, feels like the author rather take more liberty than it should to to re-tell the story. Granted that this is historical fiction, but it seems that the author have aspirat ...more
Cindy Woods
Mar 27, 2020 rated it liked it
Pretty good read!

I have read extensively about the Saracens versus Iberians 88th century wars. This is a great book recounting battles that may have been.

The plot of half-brothers of a Duke is done well with many interesting characters using historical data. I have to say the romance aspect was sorely lacking though. There was no feeling whatsoever in the characters.

Overall, this one is pretty good when you consider the military battle planning, and the depth of the characters are very limited.
Feb 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
So good! I’m not usually into historical fiction but I loved this book! The story was really exciting and I was totally captivated. The author manages to paint a vivid picture with visual descriptions while still moving the story along quickly. Plus it had an excellent romantic story line ❤️ super fun read!
Brian V
Apr 23, 2022 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 09, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Saracen Storm by JM Nunez is a very readable historical novel about the incursion of the Saracens into the Iberia Peninsula in the early 8th Century. The leading character is Pelayo, who at the age of eight is taken to live with his father after his mother dies. We follow him, off and on, for the next 25 years as he maneuvers through a life in which his step-mother and step-brother hate him and make his life a misery, until his father sends him to war against the Saracens. He spends the rest ...more
Bruce Cable
Excellent Historical Fiction!

I found this to be quite an engaging book, and I'm so glad to have stumbled upon it. I am somewhat familiar with the historical Moorish invasion of Iberia, which the Moors named Al Andalusia, which is the country known today as Spain. I had just finished watching an excellent documentary named "Storm Over Europe: The Wandering Tribes," which told the story of the Germanic Visogoth's who conquered Spain, several centuries prior to the timeline of this book, so when I
Dan Dwyer
Jan 31, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Story of Pelayo comes to life

Spanish history has long interested me, and as far as its complicated relationship with the Saracens goes, it has to start with Pelayo.I
Nunez has written a fast paced historical fiction of this Spanish George Wash that is hard to put down. The descriptions of the battles will have the reader on the edge of their seats. Treachery among the Spanish nobles was a shameful aspect of Pelayo's attempt at uniting the remnants of resistance. Worse than this was the savage
John Morris
Oct 21, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A lively tale of heroics and treachery!

This was a real swashbuckling story of the Spanish hero, Pelayo, and his fight against the Moorish invaders. The tale of a half Basque illegitimate son of a Spanish duke, who's ascendancy from youthful debauchery to military splendour, was the stuff of legends. The author expertly wove a splendid tale around real historical events and produced a highly entertaining book. Well recommended!
May 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A very enjoyable read

The story draws you in and doesn’t let go until the final page. The story has roots in the history of the very first elements of the Reconquista, although interpreted to make for an enjoyable and exciting read. I found that the book got me to research a bit into the historical roots that it is built upon and between the books information woven into the plot and the checking into the historical facts that I learned as much as I enjoyed from the book.
3,70 stars...I was expecting something a lot more gritty ... so many predictable turns... It was very easy to read, the story moves rapidly...but romance or any kind of intimacy among the characters aspect was sorely lacking for sure..But there is interesting information on the state of Spain before it was Spain...I love reading books like this that reveals history to me i never heard the end the book was well maintained.
Linda Johns
Jan 18, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is a keeper!

I am 72, a history buff and I have read thousands of books. I have to buy a copy of this book! Great story, not a dull moment in this book. I could not put this book down. A brand new author for me to buy from. And best of all, the icing on the cake is no historical blunders! People would be surprised at the number of historical facts some writers make because they did not care enough about their book to double check historical facts!
Nov 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Over 700 years of occupation

Moorish influence is everywhere in Spain, from the famous Spanish horses to the Andalusian territories, it's a huge part of the county's culture, language and architecture Yet what anguish and fear this occupation caused those who had long settled this country so many centuries ago. This novel brings history alive and learning about Palayo's life was for me very entertaining and educational.
Geraldine Erickson
Swashbuckling entertaining story

I enjoyed the immersion into a medieval romano castle life which seemed so similar to modern life in its organization of keeping accounts, collecting taxes, and purchasing arms from a traveling salesman. The plot is spellbinding with the king’s illegitimate son as the hero and his wife as the villain. It was hard to put down and I highly recommend it for a good read.
Jack Burkhalter
May 04, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great Story of Spain's First Defeat of the Moors

You will enjoy this fictional story that weaves actual history into the beginning of both the brutality of Moor invasions and the heroic successes of the people's of the Iberian peninsula for defence of their homeland and their Christian way of life. This novel captures so much of the society's and individual family's struggle to preserve the nation of Spain we know today.
Morris D
Feb 09, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent book for most readers

This book is part romance and part relatively mild military fiction. Given it’s historical underpinnings, the storyline has significant gaps in it, but the flow is not disrupted. As a mainly military fiction reader, my interest flagged at times, but I am glad I kept reading and finished it.
Nov 14, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wonderful historical\fiction novel

This is a great historical,but with fictional characters of several battles between the English and Saracens over the land and power of who would rule the country. It is intriguing from page one through the end with great battle scenes. Kathy R. Blackman
Linda Keefe
Jun 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Great read. Moved my knowledge of Spanish history in an area I knew nothing. Encouraged me to do more research on Spain in the 1700's. The book was a good read that I couldn't put down. Would read more books from this author. ..

Great read. Expanded my knowledge of Spanish history. Did more research after finishing the book. Would read more from this author.
Peter Barnett
Apr 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
Fascinating Look at a Time Long Ago

I found myself constantly going to google to verify fact and fiction. I have never really followed this era. Basically, the book follows the general history of the Moor invasion. The characters were interesting and well developed making it a good read.
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Jose M. Nunez is a writer residing in Montreal, Canada, with his wife, Mimi. Prior to devoting himself to writing, he was the president of a software company. While vacationing in Spain, visiting the northern province of Asturias, he came across the statue of an ancient warlord named Pelayo. Never having heard the name before, he spent the next few months reading everything he could find about the ...more

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