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Reconquista: Volume 1 (The Al Andalus series) Paperback – 29 Mar. 2016
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The historical setting was fascinating and reminds us how little things really change over time. The story was extremely exciting and gripping and not over yet! I am looking forward to following the further adventures of Rebecca, Ben, Nathan and the others and immersing myself in the sights and sounds of
13th century Spain once again, soon I hope!
I love this book and hope J J Anderson will not keep me waiting too long for the sequel.
The drama starts in early October when the besieged Moorish city falls to the ‘Christian’ army of King Alfonso X. The youngsters, already trying to find their feet in the adult world, are plunged into new dangers, alarms and confusions as strange and brutal northern soldiers occupy their city. Family ties and the traditions on which they have all hitherto relied are tested, strained and sometimes broken. The questions the young people ask often cannot be answered by their elders – or the answers are rejected because the young are adapting faster to the new circumstances than are their parents. Our heroes (for such they are) all have to learn quickly and think fast in a rapidly changing and potentially deadly new world.
Each character is confronted by different dilemmas concerned with courage, ambition, loyalty or obedience. To meet their various challenges, they must fend for themselves and embark upon journeys which take them into unfamiliar places and situations. They are travelling away from the safety of childhood both emotionally and geographically.
J.J. Anderson weaves their different adventures with great skill and plenty of ‘cliff-hangers’ (literal and metaphorical) which make us want to plunge immediately into the next chapter. Historical research and a detailed knowledge of the geography of Andalucía inform the stories at every turn but this is no dry history lesson. For readers young and old, the violence, arbitrary cruelty and unpredictable dangers arising from the clash of religions and cultures in medieval Spain will have a shocking contemporary resonance.