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An alternate history fantasy novel, by Guy Gavriel Kay based on the reconquest of Spain when the Christians ousted the Moors

The novel centres around Jehane, a physician of the Kindath faith (based on the Jews) and her interaction with a group of mercenaries which includes a celebrated poet-assassin of the Asharite (Muslim) faith, Ammar ibn Khairan, and a band of Jaddite (Christian) soldiers, led by Rodrigo Belmonte the best known of the Jaddite military commanders.

This group has been thrown together by chance, but they come to gain a greater understanding of the others, overcoming the religious prejudice that all of them (especially the Jaddites) have grown up with. Love and friendship grows between them, on the basis of the people they are, rather than where they came from.

Unfortunately, the region is on the brink of holy war and the characters are destined to be on opposite sides.

Like all Kay's work, this book is beautifully written, the characterisation is superb and it is moving and fascinating.

Another of my very favourite books.

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