Review: Her Castilian Heart by Anna Belfrage

I'm thrilled to share my review of Her Castilian Heart, the latest in the wonderful Castilian Saga series by Anna Belfrage

It's currently on Blog Tour with The Coffee Pot Book Club. Make sure to check all the other posts here.

Her Castilian Heart

The Castilian Saga

Anna Belfrage

I've been awaiting this third instalment in the series with excitement, having previously read and reviewed the first two titles, His Castilian Hawk and The Castilian Pomegranate. And Her Castilian Heart did not disappoint.

We are back with Noor – a Castilian lady with Moorish blood – and her husband, Robert FitzStephan, a knight in the service of King Edward I of England. After their recent adventures in Spain, which left Robert's hand maimed, they are back at their home at Orton Manor. But their daily routine is disrupted when Robert receives an order to accompany Roger Mortimer into Wales, to hunt down the elusive Rhys ap Maredudd, Welsh rebel and traitor to the English crown. 

With Noor's Welsh family links, and their little foster son being a surviving son of the executed Dafydd ap Gruffydd – a dangerous secret they have to keep from everyone – Robert is in two minds about the search, but it's not something he can voice out loud. Edward I doesn't treat traitors lightly!

But in Wales, Robert and Roger find that the resistance is still very much alive, and when they eventually retreat back to England, Robert is shocked by Roger's treatment of the population, their homes burnt down and people scattered. But still, he must keep his mouth shut. A true dilemma for a character who prides himself for his fairness and integrity.

Meanwhile, Robert's half-brother Eustace, their father's legitimate son and heir, snaps at his heels, filled with jealousy over Robert's popularity with the king. His envy leads him to endanger Robert's life more than once, and when Mortimer realises what's at stake, he sends Eustace back in disgrace. Only for the errant brother to turn up at Orton Manor in search of a hidden Welsh rebel Noor and Robert were hiding. 

Eventually, they are recalled to the Pyrenees, where Edward is negotiating political treaties linked to the island of Sicily. Political squabbles with the French king and the pope add to this fast-paced adventure.

And Queen Eleanor has questions about the providence of their foster son, Lionel, who she suspects to be the Welsh princeling. Even when Eleanor shows her proof obtained with the help of the Queen of Castile, Eleanor remains suspicious. Will Noor be able to keep Lionel safe? And will Robert escape Eustace's machinations?

Her Castilian Heart is a pacy adventure, full of intrigues, plots, and with a gentle touch of romance. Noor and Robert have grown into their roles. She is still outspoken, which leads her into trouble, while he is astutely aware of political repercussions. Their dilemma regarding Edward's subjugation of the Welsh comes across as realistic, and the dangers they face seem real. Edward was not a man to be tricked easily, so their deception over Lionel is clever, but ultimately dangerous.

Her Castilian Heart continues this excellent series with its high quality of research and deep characterisation. I enjoyed every minute of it. Highly recommended.




Blood is not always thicker than water…

At times a common bloodline is something of a curse—or so Robert FitzStephan discovers when he realises his half-brother, Eustace de Lamont, wants to kill him.   

A murderous and greedy brother isn’t Robert’s only challenge.  He and his wife, Noor, also have to handle their infected relationship with a mightily displeased Queen Eleanor—all because of their mysterious little foundling whom they refuse to abandon or allow the queen to lock away. 

Eustace is persistent. When Robert’s life hangs in the balance, it falls to Noor to do whatever it takes to rip them free from the toothy jaws of fate. Noor may be a woman, but weak she is not, and in her chest beats a heart as brave and ferocious as that of a lioness. But will her courage be enough to see them safe? 


Trigger Warnings:
There is some sexual (consensual) content. Also some violence


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About the Author:

Anna Belfrage

Had Anna been allowed to choose, she’d have become a time-traveller. As this was impossible, she became a financial professional with two absorbing interests: history and writing. Anna has authored the acclaimed time travelling series The Graham Saga, set in 17th century Scotland and Maryland, as well as the equally acclaimed medieval series The King’s Greatest Enemy which is set in 14th century England.  


Anna has also published The Wanderer, a fast-paced contemporary romantic suspense trilogy with paranormal and time-slip ingredients. 


Her Castilian Heart is the third in her “Castilian” series, a stand-alone sequel to her September 2020 release, His Castilian Hawk. Set against the complications of Edward I’s invasion of Wales, His Castilian Hawk is a story of loyalty, integrity—and love. In the second instalment, The Castilian Pomegranate, we travel with the protagonists to the complex political world of medieval Spain. This latest release finds our protagonists back in England—not necessarily any safer than the wilds of Spain!


Anna has also authored The Whirlpools of Time in which she returns to the world of time travel. Join Duncan and the somewhat reluctant time-traveller Erin on their adventures through the Scottish Highlands just as the first Jacobite rebellion is about to explode! 


All of Anna’s books have been awarded the IndieBRAG Medallion, she has several Historical Novel Society Editor’s Choices, and one of her books won the HNS Indie Award in 2015. She is also the proud recipient of various Reader’s Favorite medals as well as having won various Gold, Silver and Bronze Coffee Pot Book Club awards.


Find out more about Anna, her books and enjoy her eclectic historical blog on her website,

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  1. what a lovely, lovely review! I am presently struggling with both fever and cough, but hauling myself out of bed to read this was deffo worth it. Thank you!


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