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The Ruby in her Navel

by Barry Unsworth

Twelfth century Sicily. A multi-cultural, multi-ethnic society, riven by tensions and threatened by invasion at the time of the Crusades. Ruled over by the benign King Roger, or is he benign? A tale of high politics, duplicity and betrayal brought about by love. And also the possibility of redemption through love.

A fable for the war against terror.

Extract

I turned to find a man regarding me whom after a moment I recognized: it was the groom who had ridden before Alicia in that street in Bari, where we had met. He was not in livery now, but in a long surcoat of undyed linen. I had not thought at the time that he had the air or the glance of a servant, and I did not think so now from the way he was regarding me.

Parallels

The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco
Shadow of the Pomegranate Tree by Tariq Ali
A Good Man in Africa by William Boyd
 

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