Title: The Alhambra Decree
Series: Flower from Castile Trilogy (Book One)
Genre/Keywords: Historical Fiction/Spain, Granada, War, Inquisition, Love, Faith, Hope, Family Allegiance
Length: 400 pages (ebook) | 396 pages (paperback)
Publisher: Lifeline Publishing Books
e date: November 9, 2011 (ebook) | February 12, 2013 (paperback)
Extras: Goodreads | Book Secrets | Excerpt
Purchase: Amazon | B&N | Apple | Kobo | Smashwords
The year is 1491, and sixteen-year-old Isabella Obrigon is kidnapped from her privileged life. When told she isn’t of Spanish noble blood, but rather the child of a Jewish woman who died in childbirth, Isabella becomes personally embroiled in the terror of the Inquisition. She finds herself imprisoned in the famed fortress of Alhambra, where an encounter with mysterious and dashing Miguel Costa impels her to accept having been adopted and to vow to find her birth parents.
The Spanish monarchs fight to unify Spain as a Catholic nation; as soon as the war is over, the Queen Isabella must fulfill her vow to the grand inquisitor to rid Spain of all heretics. She decrees the Jews’ exile.
Isabella Obrigon must now decide whether to follow her heart and join her endangered brethren seeking exile, or stay and live a lie.
“Truth and convenience all too often pit themselves against one another. The Alhambra Decree is the first book from Lilian Gafni’s Flower from Castile Trillogy, discussing the late fifteenth century wars between Islamic and Catholic Spain, as the two faiths form two nations and battle over the Iberian peninsula. Isabella Obrigon, blessed with a noble life, finds that she has the power to turn the conflict if she faces the truth. But doing so, she makes many enemies but few friends. A riveting tale of medieval Spain, The Alhambra Decree is an excellent choice for fans of historical fiction.” -Midwest Book Review
“Are you looking for a historical adventure read? One that sets itself apart from all the historical romances that we are bombarded with. Are you a fan of Spain and it’s history and culture? If you answered YES, then this is the book for you as The Alhambra Decree takes us back to July 1453, then jumps to the main story in April 1491. As learnt from reading The Alhambra Decree, in the 1400s Spain was under the influence of Catholicism which was interesting as I had no knowledge prior to Spain’s history, so reading The Alhambra Decree was an eye-opener.
The novel surrounds Isabella Obrigon, a rich and beautiful young girl. Born into a world of money, and privilege–she enjoys life and everything handed to her. Unfortunately though, as Isabella gets older she will soon discover that she shouldn’t have taken her life for granted when it’s discovered that a dark secret surrounds her birth and the truth about her parental line. Soon she finds herself caught up in a whirlwind of adventure and danger between two powerful nations, trapped between two faiths and two kinds of people.
In order to survive, Isabella must make a choice–one that will change the course of her life forever–to follow her heart and join her the lesser wealthy of the two peoples or to live her life of luxury and wealth and live with the knowledge of lies. The other part of the novel that I enjoyed was the talk of discoverer Christopher Columbus, and The Alhambra Decree featured the built-up of his dreams and how he achieved the means to discover a new world. The Alhambra Decree is a nice read that fans of Historical Fiction will enjoy.” -The Phantom Paragrapher
“Author Lilian Gafni transports the reader into the rich and evocative world of Spain back when Columbus readied to venture to the New World and the church fomented its Inquisition against the Jews and war against those worshipping Allah. Gafni captures the smells, tastes, and textures of this time while drawing you into the heartbreaking and complex stories of those caught on opposing sides, with the church in the middle. A master storyteller, Gafni will reveal to you a world that will open your eyes and show you a piece of important history while keeping you riveted wondering what will happen next. A must-read!” -C. S. Lakin, Author of Someone to Blame and Intended for Harm
“Gafni’s understanding of the time period seems paramount, and her plot is solid. Isabella’s movement between different cultures allows readers to explore what it was like to be a Catholic, Jew, or Moor during one of history’s darkest periods.” -Kirkus Reviews
“Flower from Castile Trilogy: Book One: The Alhambra Decree is an accessible novel that inspires interest in, and relays the complexities of, a fascinating period in history.” -ForeWord Clarion Reviews
“Gafni uses historical fiction to retrace the steps of displaced Jews during the Inquisition. She writes with passion—her experiences a springboard.” -The Desert Sun/My Desert
“Lilian Gafni’s Flower from Castile Trilogy is the human account describing the atrocities inflicted on the unfortunate Marranos and Sephardic Jews, and even on the Moors living in the Iberian Peninsula. So much human cruelty and so many wars caused over the centuries by different religions. The detailed dialogues provide historical information, and make the protagonists more real. This book is a monument to the Marranos that suffered and lost their lives.” -Manuel Luciano da Silva and Silvia Jorge da Silva, Authors of Christopher Columbus was Portuguese!
“Gafni takes the reader on a journey through time – placing us amid the struggles and conflict caused by religion. As a historical fiction, Gafni gives us everything we need to walk through the towns and villages and feel, taste and smell the ambiance and lifestyle of that time. And thankfully, she never bogs us down with unnecessary details that slow the story. Both my husband (who has very different literary tastes than me) and I loved this book and enjoy discussing it. Gafni is a superb author!” -Ann White, Rabbi and Chaplain, Radio Host, Transformational Author and Speaker
“Isabel is under pressure of the 1453 variety. She’s overworked, scratching out a living. Her heart is weak, but most of it belongs to her son, Salvador, the secret love child of the Duke, heir to the Portuguese throne. Six months later, Isabel is dead. A heart-wrenching funeral scene ensues, where Salvador struggles to understand his mother’s early demise, but what will happen to the young boy and will the Duke keep a promise to raise the boy as his own? This historical novel begins the saga of Salvador, but promises so much more, eventually to be intertwined with Christopher Columbus and his historic journey. The prose is elevated by its fine period detail.” -The US Review of Books