Fortune’s Lament, by John D. Cressler
Milford House Press, an imprint of Sunbury Press, Mechanicsburg, PA, 2018.

Price: TBD (paperback), TBD (eBook)
Trade Paperback ISBN: TBD / Amazon ISBN: TBD
Mobipocket format (Kindle) ISBN: TBD

Description of Fortune’s Lament

Much of modern Spain were under Muslim control for nearly 800 years (from 711 to 1492 C.E.). Medieval Muslim Spain (al-Andalus—Andalusia, in English) was deeply influential in world history, for a multitude of reasons, including the rediscovery, translation and dissemination of the lost works of medicine, science, and philosophy of the ancient Greeks. The Muslim Umayyads (with roots tracing back to Syria), were lovers of books and learning, and helped launch a cultural revolution in Córdoba which transformed the western world. An exceptional (even by today’s standards) 200 year period of peaceful coexistence (la convivencia) between the three Abrahamic faith traditions (Judaism, Christianity and Islam) transpired under Muslim Umayyad rule, providing a powerful lesson in the practice of multiculturalism for our 21st century world.

Fortune’s Lament is the third release in the Anthems of al-Andalus Series, which break open this largely forgotten and fascinating history for modern readers. All three novels are love stories set at pivotal moments in the history of medieval Muslim Spain. Fortune’s Lament is set in Granada’s Alhambra Palace 120 years after Emeralds of the Alhambra, and tells the story of Danah, a young Muslim woman who aspires to be the first female physician in the city. Love unexpectedly blossoms between Danah and Yusef, a valiant prince of court from a rival clan, during the bloody final conquest of Granada by King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Christian Spain. As the light of al-Andalus dims, the Inquisition looms large on the horizon, as does the coming voyage of Columbus to discover the Americas.


The book launch for Fortune’s Lament will be held at 7:00 pm on Wednesday, April 18th at the Barnes & Noble Bookstore at Georgia Tech (48 5th Street. NW, Atlanta 30308 – corner of 5th and Spring Streets, in Technology Square). Presentation, Q&A, signing. Free and open to all.

For upcoming appearances and other book events, visit the EVENTS page.

Calling All Book Groups:

Fortune’s Lament is a great read for book groups! Discussion questions are included in the back matter. In addition, I would be delighted to make an appearance at groups using the book, either in person, via skype, or via phone. Book group appearances are already being put on the calendar!

Praise for Fortune’s Lament

  • “Cressler’s Fortune’s Lament brings to life the glory of Islamic Spain in dramatic and vivid prose, and his work shows the value of extensive research. His fascination with Andalusia under Muslim rule is apparent, and his historical novels do justice to the epic sweep of this period of history. The lesson his storytelling leaves with us is the importance of coexistence and the richness that multiculturalism brings to our world—one that is perhaps even more relevant in our day.” —Christopher Thornton, Zayed University, United Arab Emirates
  • “Granada in the 15th century was wracked by bloody religious battles; court jealousies, cunning, and intrigue; ominous religious persecution; personal suffering, guilt and forgiveness. Yet love thrives! Fortune’s Lament conjures Layla and William from Emeralds of the Alhambra through jinns and magical realism to show how Great Love endures for an eternity, transcends religious differences, and transforms and embraces Hakim Danah and her betrothed. Yet we have one more ever-present love in Fortune’s Lament: Nature, the verdant earth and her magical skies, the scents and beauty deliciously described in wondrous detail throughout. This book uplifts the soul.” —Denise Black
  • Fortune’s Lament is a page-turner that constantly surprises. It is all there—a love story, great battle strategies, palace intrigue. I am not sure when I have learned so much while being so greatly entertained.” —Trish Byers
  • “I found myself turning page after page without realizing the passing time. Fortune’s Lament was equally thrilling, thought provoking, emotive, and historically interesting. The history is brought alive through champions of honor, dignity, and love, and the story told in a manner that resonates with today’s society, moving the reader to pursue Great Love in his or her own life.” —Angela Como
  • “Historical fiction at its best leaves you wanting to learn more about people, cultures, places, and events. Fortune’s Lament succeeds.” —Douglas R. Davis
  • “An epic tale of love and war with bigger than life characters. Fortune’s Lament is a fast-paced visual panorama of unconditional love and the harsh realities of war. A thrilling page-turner that leaves you emotionally exhausted.” —Dennis Day
  • “It’s all here, yet I want more. Political intrigue, parallel love stories, inspiring quests for knowledge, and damnable acts of subterfuge spurred me through the fascinating history of late 15th century Spain depicted in Fortune’s Lament, the third novel of the Anthems of al-Andalus Series. John Cressler clearly loves his subjects and has ignited my curiosity in the integral lessons of the fall of Muslim Spain and the emergence of European colonialism. Can differing faiths coexist—even thrive—in peace? How often must we forget the tragedies of history? And most of all, what is that mystery called Great Love? —Howard Holden
  • “Another masterfully written tale by John Cressler. The history is rich, the romance intense, the intrigue suspenseful, and the action compelling. I loved it and I think you will too!” —Tom Jablonski
  • Fortune’s Lament is a reader’s delight! Cressler has done it again in the third book of the Anthems of al-Andalus Series. While Queen Isabella plots and schemes to achieve the downfall of the Moors in late 15th century Granada, the Spanish Inquisition endeavors to root out all Christian non-believers in Spain, Columbus seeks the favor of the Spanish crown to support his voyage to the ‘ends of the earth’, and love blossoms between a Moorish knight and a young woman who seeks to become the first female physician in Granada. A page-tuner par excellence will keep the reader entranced until the wee hours of the night. History, political intrigue, religion, architecture, and adventure concoct a savory stew that will have readers salivating until the final denouement. Highly recommended!” —Roger A. Meyer, MD
  • “With its evocative, often beautiful prose and key insights into the history of the time, Cressler’s latest book is an exceptional work of historical fiction. He skillfully weaves the separate story threads into an intriguing tale that appeals to readers who enjoy complex stories, strong characters, and enlightening history come to life.” —Barbara Nalbone
  • “Fortune’s Lament is a treat for lovers of historical fiction. In this exciting third novel, Cressler weaves a masterful story set in 15th century Spain, during the turbulent times of Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand, when conquest and desire to cleanse Iberia of Muslims and Jews takes precedence. Caught in this sweeping landscape of war and peace, Danah is an endearing protagonist, a young woman who is aspiring to become a physician while struggling with love and self-discovery in a society dominated by men. I was quickly swept into the story and could not put the book down. A masterfully crafted novel of love and intrigue that once more emphasizes Cressler’s enthusiastic belief in the goodness of humankind.” —Acar Nazli
  • Fortune’s Lament invites readers into a time and place in history which continues to impact us profoundly today: the beginnings of the Spanish Inquisition and ongoing hostilities between the Christian and Muslim worlds. We enter into the lush world of the Alhambra and the court of Ferdinand and Isabella, getting a glimpse of Muslim, Jewish and Christian worldviews while be entertained by engaging characters and their stories, both historical and fictional. It is a fast, entertaining read that will leave you pondering what might have been done differently, and what we should be doing differently in today’s world so that history doesn’t continue to repeat itself.”
    —Patty Smith
  • Fortune’s Lament takes us back to Spain in the late 1400’s and unfolds a story filled with history and love. It tells of choices we all have to make in our lives. We meet historical and fictional characters, woven together in a way that helps us see our time through their eyes. Ultimately, the story makes it obvious that only love can transcend our differences. Only love can make it possible for us to live together as Allah/Yehovah/God intended.” —Bud Treanor
  • “My favorite book so far in the Anthems of al-Andalus Series, Fortune’s Lament weaves together a series of intertwining narratives with one in particular at the forefront. We follow a young Muslim woman as she defies social norms to become the first female doctor in her community, embarking on a quest for truth along the way that ends in her finding Great Love. Though set in medieval Spain, this story evokes emotions and teaches lessons that transcend both time and space.” —Lara Tucci
  • “I felt like I was dropped into 15th century Spain, experiencing a full range of emotional twists and turns as the mystery of true love unfolds amidst the harsh realities of war. A truly remarkable novel that explores the power of Great Love.” —George Tzintzarov

Background Material for Fortune’s Lament
A Slideshow of Maps from Fortune’s Lament Photographs of Settings and Scenes from Fortune’s Lament