New release : The City of Dreams Bk Two: The Pirate


It’s hard to believe that we are now in the middle of October, when here in Málaga there are still people lying on the beach soaking up the sunshine and swimming in a tranquil sea. Having lived by this particular stretch of the Mediterranean now for over twenty years, I knew that one day I would have to write about it, and the perfect opportunity came when I was thinking of the plot for Book Two in the City of Dreams trilogy.


You may remember that this historical series is set in the city of Málaga where, in the 11th century, the Mediterranean (or Middle Sea as it was known at the time) came right up to the fortified walls of the alcazaba. Those of you who have visited the area may recall how all along this coast there are Moorish watch towers, built as much to look out for pirates as any other enemy. Pirates were the scourge of the area, making lightning raids along the coast, sometimes for food and valuables, sometimes taking people to sell as slaves in north Africa. They left a trail of death and destruction behind them. Pirate ships were light and fast; each had a shallow draught so that they could get close to the shore and travel up rivers and estuaries with ease. Their main targets were the merchant ships that traded all along the Mediterranean coast. These ships were heavily laden, slow and often poorly defended. The lighter pirate vessels could easily outrun them. They also attacked fishermen and took their catch. Nothing was too small or insignificant for them.

So how could I write a trilogy about medieval Málaga without including the sea, and how could I talk about the sea without mentioning pirates? 


In book two, the ambitious pirate captain, al-Awar, makes a lightning raid on the shipyard in Málaga and kidnaps Bakr, a master shipbuilder, and two of his workmen. Before anyone can do anything about it, they have disappeared. No-one has any idea why the pirates have taken them or where they have gone, but everyone agrees that only one of two fates await them: death or slavery. When Bakr’s wife receives the news, she is heartbroken but refuses to listen to those who say there is little hope of ever finding her husband alive. Instead she is determined to discover where the pirates have taken him. With the entire Mediterranean to hide in, finding the kidnapped men seems to be an impossible task, but she refuses to give up and motivates her family and friends to search for him.
At the heart of this novel is the tender love story of Aisha and Bakr’s deep feelings for each other. It is the thought of her that helps to keep him alive while he is in captivity with little prospect of ever seeing his home and family again, and it is her love for him that gives her the strength to never give up hope of bringing him home.

This fast moving and exciting historical novel takes the reader into the medieval world of the merchants and seafarers who sail along the western coast of the Mediterranean, and the pirates who terrorise them.


The Pirate is currently available as an ebook from and On 26th November it will become available in paperback from both Amazon, on-line bookshops and (if you have one in your area) high street book shops.

If you haven’t read Book One, The Apothecary, I recommend you read that one first as it will enhance your enjoyment of The Pirate.


Joan Fallon is a writer and novelist living in Spain.