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Court of Lions by Jane Johnson
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Court of Lions

by Jane Johnson

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Court of Lions is the latest novel by author Jane Johnson. In the present day, Kate Fordham is an Englishwoman living incognito in Granada, Spain. Kate is hiding from her abusive husband, James. One day Kate is visiting the Alhambra and finds a small piece of paper with unusual writing on it hidden in a wall in the garden. How long has that paper lain hidden in the wall? Kate meets friends at the Alhambra who help her discover what is on the paper and its origins. Kate is worried about her sister, Jess after she receives a coded email from her. James has found Jess and taken something very precious. It will not be long before he tracks down Kate.

Blessings is a companion to Prince Abu Abdullah Mohammed in Granada in 1476. Blessings cares for Prince Abu aka Momo, but must keep his feelings to himself. As Momo gets older, the tasks set to Blessings by Momo become more challenging. Momo’s father, Sultan Moulay Hasan takes a mistress who will bring conflict to the palace that will forever change Momo’s life. Then there is Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand with their Inquisition. What will happen to Blessings and Prince Abu?

Court of Lions is a dual time line story (alternating chapters). The book is a slower-paced story that took me a short time to become engaged. I found the writing to be descriptive. The vivid descriptions of the Alhambra (I adored the tile descriptions) and the region allow readers to visualize it (I would love to visit it). The historical sections seemed more alive than those set in the present day. As the book progresses, we find out why Kate is hiding in Granada, how she met James and what happened to their marriage. Kate was a bit of a contradiction (and a little hard to like at times). I thought she would be more afraid of getting involved with another man after her disastrous relationship with James. The romantic entanglement felt predictable, but he was needed to aid the story. Blessings history is revealed throughout the story. We find out why he had to leave his tribe and came to be with Prince Abu. Blessings was devoted to Prince Abu and would do anything he requested. I was curious as to how the two separate storylines related, but it becomes more obvious as the novel progresses. The author did a wonderful job at incorporating the history into the book. She made the time-period come alive and beautifully weaved it into her story. It is obvious that Ms. Johnson did her research for Court of Lions. Christopher Columbus even makes an appearance. Blessings story takes place over twenty years while Kate’s section encompasses less than one month. Some of the themes presented in Court of Lions are love, poverty, grief, heartache, differences and similarities between religions, religious persecution, friendship, greed, cultural discrimination, family, violence, war, bond between sisters, domestic abuse and passion. I do wish readers to know that there is foul language, graphic violence and descriptions of intimate relations included in Court of Lions. To discover what is written on the scrap of paper Kate found at the Alhambra and get swept back in time, then grab a copy of Court of Lions. ( )
  Kris_Anderson | Feb 2, 2018 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0385682654, Paperback)

Sometimes at the lowest points in your life, fate will slip you a gift. Ken Follett meets Jodi Picoult in a stunning new novel from Jane Johnson.


Kate Fordham, escaping terrible trauma, has fled to the beautiful sunlit city of Granada, the ancient capital of the Moors in Spain, where she is scraping by with an unfulfilling job in a busy bar. One day in the glorious gardens of the Alhambra, once home to Sultan Abu Abdullah Mohammed, also known as Boabdil, Kate finds a scrap of paper hidden in one of the ancient walls. Upon it, in strange symbols, has been inscribed a message from another age. It has lain undiscovered since before the Fall of Granada in 1492, when the city was surrendered to Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand. Born of love, in a time of danger and desperation, the fragment will be the catalyst that changes Kate's life forever.
     An epic saga of romance and redemption, Court of Lions brings one of the great hinge-points in human history to life, telling the stories of a modern woman and the last Moorish sultan of Granada, as they both move towards their cataclysmic destinies.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 09 Mar 2017 08:50:27 -0500)

In the glorious gardens of the Alhambra, once home to Sultan Abu Abdullah Mohammed, Kate Fordham finds a scrap of paper hidden in one of the ancient walls. Upon it, in strange symbols, has been inscribed a message from another age. It has lain undiscovered since before the fall of Granada in 1492. Born of love, in a time of danger and desperation, the fragment will be the catalyst that changes Kate's life forever.… (more)

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