Book Review – El Reino del Norte

El Reino del Norte: UNA INTRIGA DE AMBICIÓN, AMOR Y MUERTE EN LA ASTURIAS DEL SIGLO IX (The Northern Kingdom: An Intrigue of Ambition, Love and Death in 9TH Century Asturias) is the sequel to what is one of my favorite books of all time (easily the best read I had in 2023), El caballero del jabalí blanco (The Knight of the White Boar). This historical novel takes place after the events of the El caballero del jabalí blanco (The Knight of the White Boar). It takes place at the tail end of the reign of Alfonso II of Asturias and Abd ar-Rahman II. Unlike its predecessor, the story telling approach of this book is not from a memoir like retelling of the events that occurred during this era, but rather this book is presented to us more as the traditional story telling novel approach. Our main hero in this book is the son of the protagonist of El caballero del jabalí blanco. One thing that this book did that its predecessor didn’t, was showing a much deeper insight on the The Emirate of Córdoba, and the fascinating characters in it (both real ones and fictional ones).

As the subtitle of the novel suggest, this book has more of the political intrigue and romance type of element to it. At times it felt very A Song of Ice and Fire like. This may be an unpopular opinion, but I can assure you that the political intrigue in Asturias and Córdoba is far superior that those in Westeros. So theirs certainly an audience for this type of novels (sadly no English translations as of the time of this writing)

This is a fairly long novel, I wasn’t able to read it at the same pace of El caballero del jabalí blanco. I literally devoured that book in like 3 days! At times, it felt like major portions of this book were just a setup to what will be the next book in the series. I knew from the beginning that it was going to be extremely difficult to top what the author did in the book El caballero del jabalí blanco, so it wasn’t a disappoint to me that I didn’t connected to it, like it did with El caballero del jabalí blanco. Thus said, this was still an enjoyable read, and I learned quite of lot of history because of it! So still looking forward on reading the third and final book of this fantastic trilogy Los demonios del mar: De cuando los vikingos atacaron por primera vez las costas de España (The demons of the sea: From when the Vikings first attacked the coasts of Spain).