Kate Fordham fled to Spain to start a new life. Amid the sunlit streets of Granada and the earthly paradise of the Alhambra's gardens, towers and courtyards, she's left her past far behind. But fate is about to bring her face-to-face with her greatest fear.
Five centuries ago, a message was hidden in the Alhambra's walls. There it has lain, undisturbed by the tides of history – the fall of Granada, the expulsion of its last Sultan – until Kate discovers it.
Born of love in a time of desperation and danger, Kate's discovery will be the catalyst that changes her life.
Head of Zeus * Fiction
06 Jul 2017 * 496pp * £4.99 * 9781786694324
'A wonderful blend of the past and the present day making an unputdownable, beautifully written novel'
'Johnson's research is evident here – the twists and turns of Momo's attempts to hang on to his sultanate are compelling. Blessings' tormented love is beautifully written, as is the atmosphere of 15th-century Spain ... Page-turning stuff'
'Loyalty and treachery are examined mercilessly as the twin stories unfold. There is history here, examined from a fresh perspective, and humanity injected into a tale that perhaps the reader only knew as names and dates and places. An excellent reminder that weighty events can pivot on the actions of a few determined souls. Highly recommended'
'To so perfectly capture the complex, heady exoticism of the end of an empire, and weave it with such gripping love stories past and present is an astonishing storytelling feat. Beware. You'll read this in one sitting'
'Johnson follows two parallel threads – a double helix if you will, not so much intertwined as touching gently on each other – with points of connection as light yet poignant as a lover's kiss'
'The descriptions are lush and detailed ... A great personal, book group and definite holiday read!'
'One of my favourite books of the year'
The Secret World of a Book Blogger
'An enthralling and evocative tale of redemption, renewal and romance from an outstanding storyteller ... Having discovered [Jane Johnson's] wonderful books, I shall not only devour her entire backlist, but also wait eagerly for the next magical tale from her talented pen!'
'A sensual and emotional delight from beginning to end'
'A mesmerizing book, skillfully weaving together two stories seven centuries apart ... A tour de force of writing skill, with the two disparate stories intertwining in a complex tapestry'
My Merri Way
'The book shimmers with heat, beauty, of the palace and its gardens filled with fruit and flowers and fountains and colour and pattern. The scents of the streets are there too, and cooking, always cooking, from couscous to mint tea. This book is a feast for the mind'
'It is the dramatisation of the last desolate days of Moorish Spain which provides the heartbeat of the novel ... Written with empathy and a flair for the dramatic'
'Johnson richly evokes the last days of what must have seemed an Eden on Earth, the Alhambra, and brings it alive in colour, scents and fountain waters ... The most wonderful parts are those which take us within the walls of the Alhambra ... we're given a sympathetic, atmospheric and elegant portrait of the Alhambra and its people'
For Winter Nights
'Well worth your time and space in your holiday packing ... Johnson has crafted a superior tale that grabs you from the off'
'Solid gold brilliance ... This is one of those few and far between novels which affect you on a visceral level so that whilst you may not find it life-changing, you will retain its message of hope, betrayal and redemption'
'Rich with the scents and sights of the Alhambra's gardens, towers and courtyards, this novel enchants as it moves between past and present'
'If you enjoy exquisitely told, superbly researched, epic dual narratives with characters that remain in your mind after the last page is turned, read Court of Lions'
Historical Novel Society
Jane Johnson is a British novelist and publisher. She is the UK editor for George R.R. Martin, Robin Hobb and Dean Koontz and was for many years publisher of the works of J.R.R. Tolkien. Married to a Berber chef she met while researching The Tenth Gift, she lives in Mousehole, Cornwall, and Morocco.
ALSO BY Jane Johnson