The Eye of the Falcon by Joan Fallon

A woman’s journey from destitution to riches, rich with the historical details of an exotic way of life, long disappeared.

The eye of the falcon

This is the story of Subh, a slave girl who rises to become the most powerful woman in al-Andalus by marrying the caliph, al-Hakim, and giving him two sons. When the caliph dies and leaves his eleven-year-old son as his heir, his widow seeks to protect him and his throne by setting up a regency to rule until he comes of age. However her love for one of the regents blinds her to his ruthless ambition. Gradually her lover isolates her son from his court and his country, imprisoning him in his palace and moving the seat of power to Córdoba. Subh has to choose between protecting her son and staying with her lover.

Genre: FICTION / Historical

Secondary Genre: FICTION / Literary

Language: English

Keywords: Moorish Spain, Andalusia, Cordoba, Spain, Omayyad dynasty, intrigue, murder

Word Count: 94,700

Sales info:

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Sold through bookstores in UK and Spain

Sample text:

It was barely light when she came to his room. The night sky was turning to milky white on the horizon but the songbirds were still asleep; even the cock had not yet begun to crow. She stood by his bed, looking down at him. Her nightdress shone and glittered in the flickering light of the night lamps; it reminded him of the kingfishers that stole in to the palace gardens to steal fish from the lakes. Gently her hand stroked his hair.

‘Hisham, my son, are you awake?’ she asked.

‘Yes mother. What’s happened? Is something the matter?’

He was well aware of the commotion in the women’s quarters; the wailing and crying, the sound of heavy footsteps as the guards marched through the palace, the slamming of doors and loud voices all spoke of some catastrophe. It had broken into his sleep and woken him before his mother arrived at his bedside. Now she knelt by his side and said, ‘You must get up, Hisham. The Khalifa is dead.’

Dead? Baba was dead? He felt a chill pass over him and hot tears sprang into his eyes. He looked at his mother; her face was impassive, not a tear marred her beautiful face. She pulled the covers off him and took his hand in hers.

‘Do not cry, Hisham; there is no need for tears. You are the Khalifa now, my son. You will be a great and glorious ruler,’ she continued, her eyes gleaming, ‘like the Omeyyads before you. Al-Andalus will thrive and prosper with you as Khalifa and with me by your side.’

She bowed low so that her face touched the carpet next to his bed, her long blonde hair cascading  over the elaborately woven silks, and would have kissed his hand but he snatched it away. Baba was dead. He turned his face away from her. Was she telling him the truth? Was Baba really dead?


Book translation status:

The book is available for translation into any language except those listed below:

Already translated. Translated by Silvia Romeo
Author review:
A meticulous translator.
Already translated. Translated by Evelyn T M Martins

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