This is Spain


Tarifa 034 (1)

Joan Fallon


This is the story of a city, a city that is now in ruins and lies five kilometres outside of Cordoba in Spain: Madinat al Zahra. The story is set in the 10th century, a time when southern Spain was under the rule of the Moors. The ruler, Caliph Al Rahman III was rich, powerful and cultured. His caliphate was, at long last, at peace and the capital, Cordoba, was considered to be not only the most beautiful city in the civilised world but also the seat of learning and culture. Against this background we meet the artisan Qasim – he and his family have moved to Madinat al Zahra to make their fortune as potters.

Qasim is a good husband and father. He works hard, says his prayers and keeps out of trouble. But Qasim has a secret; his past is not what it seems. When a stranger arrives asking questions about him, and his youngest son falls in love with the caliph’s concubine, he realises that all he has worked for could be destroyed. He has to take action.

“Exotic, romantic, and rich with historical detail, The Shining City is a timeless story of love, family, and the unexpected consequences of our actions. Author Joan Fallon provides richly-imagined portraits of ordinary people caught up in extraordinary circumstances during the short-lived rise of the opulent palace-city of Madinat al-Zahra.”

Karen McCann – author of ‘Dancing in the Fountain’

“The characters are well chosen and developed, likeable and driven by their dreams and ambitions. This is a story of the little man seeking his fortune with insights into the rules of Muslim life, life at court, slavery, loyalty, betrayal, forbidden love and human tragedy. The book is very well written, perfectly paced and atmospheric. It feels authentic, has a good story and a fascinating topic.”

The Historical Novels Society Review.

Joan Fallon

Joan Fallon was born in Scotland, but grew up in England. For many years she was a teacher and later a management consultant, specialising in Behavioural Studies. In 1998 she moved to Spain, where she began a new career as a writer. Her novels centre on a strong female character and explore the emotions and relationships of the protagonist. Being a History graduate, Joan enjoys setting her novels in a historical context, researching either English or Spanish history. To date she has written seven books, including the best-selling novel, Spanish Lavender, a love story set in the Spanish Civil War.

9780957689190 (1)

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