|Robert H. Boyer|
"The Magic Necklace of Al-Andalus" is a historical fantasy book for all ages. It doesn't mean it shies away from deep themes like religious tolerance (and intolerance). The book takes place in Medieval Spain, though the main characters Cass, Thea, and Alan are from 1950s America.
The kids go back in history because of Cass wearing a magical necklace that she got from her late grandmother Esther. The necklace and Cass play an important part in the story because it is believed that the bearer and the necklace can help the lives and the beliefs of those who are threatened. It's a theme that never gets old.
Anyway, Al-Andalus refers to the area in which the Muslim people tolerated and often welcomed Christian and Jews. Like stated before the book takes place nearly 800 years where Spain was taken over by the Moors. The book ends where they are being expelled from the country. Now that's the historical part, the magic revolves around the necklace as well as Maiden, which she is a Djinni.
I found the characters to be pretty interesting and the story to be solid. It starts off fast and the pacing never falters either. Though some might be confused at how fast it does start off. It feels like you may have missed something, but you didn't. Once you get into a groove, you won't put the book down. That may sound cliche but it's very true (I finished the book in two days). It's not too long (or drawn out) either. The book is less than 400 pages.
I liked the writing style of Robert Boyer too. He can describe a scene that transports you. His world is a creation of history and myth. So it's a win for those who both love history and fantasy together. He seemed to have really researched both genres too, which is always a plus for the reader. To put Boyer in a group of other fantasy authors, C.S. Lewis would come to mind.
So overall I think that readers of all ages will learn a few lessons from reading "The Magic Necklace of Al-Andalus" as well as be entertained. The ending definitely feels like a sequel will be happening too.