Even as devout, fifteen-year-old Urraca dreams of a future with the young knight Diego, her father, the king of Portugal, arranges her marriage to Fernando, the king of Galicia and León. Urraca is thrown into the high-stakes scandals of court life. Blamed for her failure to conceive, her marriage and her place at court begin to crumble amid the hostile politics of a land divided by Islam, Christianity, and Judaism. Even the long-awaited birth of a legitimate heir cannot protect her from the enemies who dog her every step. Urraca realizes that her greatest challenge will be keeping her son alive long enough to claim his place on the throne. With her dowry gone to finance her husband’s lust for empire and the whole court turned against her, Urraca is forced to make a choice: retreat to the safety of a convent or risk her life—and her eternal soul—to spirit her young son away from his would-be murderers.
Click here to read an excerpt of The Pelican's Blood in the Winter 2016 edition of The Copperfield Review.
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