The Castilian Pomegranate

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Title: The Castilian Pomegranate

Author: Anna Belfrage

Publisher: Timelight Press

Copyright: October 1, 2021

ISBN: 978-9198507218


Format: E-Book, 398 Pages

Genres: Historical Fiction, Historical Romance


An enraged and grieving queen commands them to retrieve her exquisite jewel and abandon their foundling brat overseas—or never return

Robert FitzStephan and his wife, Noor, have been temporarily exiled. Officially, they are to travel to the courts of Aragon and Castile as emissaries of Queen Eleanor of England. Unofficially, the queen demands two things: that they abandon Lionel, their foster son, in foreign lands and that they bring back a precious jewel – the Castilian Pomegranate.

Noor would rather chop off a foot than leave Lionel in a foreign land—especially as he’s been entrusted to her by his dead father, the last true prince of Wales. And as to the jewel, stealing it would mean immediate execution. . .

Spain in 1285 is a complicated place. France has launched a crusade against Aragon and soon enough Robert is embroiled in the conflict, standing side by side with their Aragonese hosts.

Once in Castile, it is the fearsome Moors that must be fought, with Robert facing weeks separated from his young wife, a wife who is enthralled by the Castilian court—and a particular Castilian gallant.

Jealousy, betrayal and a thirst for revenge plunge Noor and Robert into life-threatening danger.

Will they emerge unscathed or will savage but beautiful Castile leave them permanently scarred and damaged?


When Robert FitzStephan and his wife, Eleanor (“Noor”), incur the wrath of Eleanor, Queen of England, they are placed in a horrible predicament. Robert is a captain in the service of King Edward I, and Noor is Queen Eleanor’s niece. They are exiled from England and sent abroad to Castile and Aragon as emissaries. Before they leave, Eleanor commands them to do two things: find a precious gem called the Castilian Pomegranate and give up their foster son, Lionel. They are not to return to England with him. The truth is that Lionel, whose true name is Gruffydd, is the son of the last Prince of Wales, Dafydd ap Gruffydd. While abroad, they face constant danger and the ugliness of war. Will they be able to keep their family together? Will they ever return to England?

The Castilian Pomegranate, second in the Castilian Saga, is the first novel by Anna Belfrage that I have read. When starting the book, I felt like everything was in medias res. Although I should have read His Castilian Hawk first, I found The Castilian Pomegranate to be a compelling and fascinating story that pulled me right in. I enjoyed the fictional characters and the depictions of the real historical figures. The overall pacing is decent, but there are moments where the story feels a bit slow. My favorite aspect was the intricate level of historical detail masterfully woven into the narrative. In fact, it makes me want to read Anna Belfrage’s other works. A nice final touch was the illuminating historical note at the end.

Originally featured on the History Novel Society website.



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