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Saturday 21 January 2023

An Andalus Adventure Book Review


Title: An Andalus Adventure
Author: S.N. Jalali
Age: 14 +

It’s 711 CE, 92 years after the Hijra of the Prophet Muhammad; blessings and peace be upon him. Responding to a plea from Count Julian, governor of Ceuta, Umayyad General Tariq Ibn Ziyad, under an order of Caliph Al-Walid in Damascus, entered the turbulent Visigoth Kingdom of Iberia.

Leaving his sleepy village of Tlemcen, a young Berber Qasim joins Tariq’s men and is swept away on an amazing quest. Jacob, captured in Julian’s raid on Iberia, is tied up and thrust upon a galley boat bound for North Africa. Siblings Ben and Bella live under constant Visigoth scrutiny, forced to lead a double life of secrets and deception.

Lives will converge on both sides as a wind of change blows hard across Iberia. The course of history is about to change...

This is a well written book with a good pace throughout. Each chapter at the beginning is about a different character in the story, a bit of their background and how they all came to the one turning point in time. The story then continues about what happened after with all the characters. It is a historical fiction with some characters based on real life persons and events but with added fictional characters to fill in the gaps. 

There is a list of characters at the beginning to explain who they are and whether they are real or fictional. There is also a map of the locations involved. These two are immensely helpful to following the story and understanding events. Included are a few illustrations of some of the characters and scenes. 

What I love about it is that Islam and its teachings are weaved into each action and scene. Children learn about Islam as they read. It is full of adventure and action. Recommended for both boys and girls as it teaches about an event in the history of Muslim civilisation. It provides a positive image of Muslims and therefore role models for Muslim teens to emulate.

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