This is the story of a city, a city that is now in ruins: Madinat al Zahra. The year is 947 AD, a time when southern Spain is under the rule of the Moors. The ruler, Caliph al Rahman III is rich, powerful and cultured. His lands are, at long last, at peace and the capital, Córdoba, is considered to be not only the most beautiful city in the civilised world but also the seat of learning and culture. Against this background we meet the artisan Qasim - he and his family have moved to Madinat al Zahra to make their fortune as potters.
Qasim is a good husband and father. He works hard, says his prayers and keeps out of trouble. But Qasim has a secret; his past is not what it seems. When a stranger arrives asking questions about him, he is worried that his secret will be discovered and everything he has worked for will be destroyed. He has to take action.
“Exotic, romantic, and rich with historical detail, The Shining City is a timeless story of love, family, and the unexpected consequences of our actions. Author Joan Fallon provides richly imagined portraits of ordinary people caught up in extraordinary circumstances during the short-lived rise of the opulent palace-city of Madinat al-Zahra.”
Karen McCann, author of “Dancing in the Fountains”