Title: The Manuscript
Author: Marie Ryan Connolly
Genre: Historical Fiction
Hidden for over six hundred years, in Spain, a recently discovered journal tells the story of a great lady, the true driving force behind the sultans of the Nasrid Dynasty.
A story of the founders of a dynasty in the al- Andalus Empire of medieval Spain.
The Alhambra, Granada, Spain
A casket from the mid-fourteenth century is discovered during some renovation work at the beautiful palace. This is the period of the latter years of what was once the great al-Andalus empire, now modern-day Andalusia in southern Spain. Historians are excited to find, inside the casket, the journal of al-Jatib, vizier of the young sultan Yusuf I, who is also a renowned poet and medic of his time. The journal is of his visits to the sultan’s ailing grandmother, Fátima, as she lies agonising in the chambers of The Alhambra Palace. The year is 1348. Throughout her long life, Fátima has been witness to no less than the first seven of the sultans of the Nasrid Dynasty, founders of what we know today as The Alhambra Palace, in Granada. The first seven sultans of this dynasty were all close family members to Fátima and historians are delighted to have discovered this document, which has lain under the foundation of the palace for centuries. Is this document simply an account of the establishment of the Nasrid Dynasty, reigning over the al-Andalus empire, or will the document reveal something that has been thus far concealed to our historians for over six hundred years?
One woman’s story of her immense power over seven sultans of the Nasrid Dynasty is unearthed and the history of the al-Andalus empire is forever changed. Workers discover a journal from the 14th century and what is written reveals something that has been concealed from history for six hundred years. In this journal, named The Manuscript, we meet Fátima in 1348. She is a woman of incredible prestige and power, reminiscing on her death bed. Her life is fascinating and filled with not one but seven sultans of the Nasrid Dynasty. Journey back in time to the opulent Alhambra Palace, in modern-day Granada.
The Manuscript is a luscious piece of historical fiction I read in one sitting. From the very beginning, I was swept away to Spain. The descriptive narration is what makes this such a great reading experience. Every detail is intricately described, especially when it comes to the readings from the journal. The character Fátima is a woman with such strength, I connected with her right away. The Manuscript reveals how powerful women in history are swept under the rug. The plot flowed with perfect precision and was over way too soon. I know this is a prequel so my hunger for more is palpable. I couldn’t get enough of this story, especially Fátima. Marie Ryan Connelly is a gifted writer for historical fiction, and I can’t wait to read more. If you’re a historical fiction fan, pick up The Manuscript. If you enjoy strong women in history, you’ll want to read The Manuscript. I can’t recommend this prequel enough!
My Rating: 5 stars
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I’m writing a series of historical fiction based in and around La Alhambra Palace in Granada, Spain. Read the prequel for free. Sign up to follow my painful writing story.
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Reviewed by: Mrs. N