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The Saracen Storm
Jose Nunez, author
It is the close of the 7th century, some six decades after the death of the prophet Muhammad. The armies of the Umayyad Caliphate have swallowed up the old Roman colonies in North Africa, now they are casting their eyes north, to the underbelly of Europe. Spain stands in their way. There, after the sudden death of his mother, a young boy named Pelayo is taken in by his father, the Duke of Asturias. Shunned as a bastard by the duke’s family and court, he grows up to become a rebellious youth, his scandalous behavior a source of embarrassment to his father. When he falls in love with Valentina, a baron’s daughter and his half-brother’s betrothed, the simmering resentment between the two siblings flares into open hostility. The death of the Spanish monarch unravels old alliances, plunging the country into civil war and setting off a series of events that will eventually culminate in one of the brothers betraying the kingdom, thereby opening the door to the Moorish invaders. As the ensuing conflagration sweeps across the land, Pelayo’s sense of duty awakens and he begins to marshal the defeated remnants of the Spanish forces.