Merchants of Iniquity

John D Cressler


by John Cressler Much of modern Spain was under Muslim control for nearly 800 years (from 711 to 1492 C.E.). Medieval Islamic Spain was deeply influential in world events, for a...

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by John Cressler

Much of modern Spain was under Muslim control for nearly 800 years (from 711 to 1492 C.E.). Medieval Islamic Spain was deeply influential in world events, for a multitude of reasons, including the rediscovery, translation, and dissemination of the lost works of medicine, science, and philosophy of the ancient Greeks, which helped set the stage for the European Renaissance. The Muslim Umayyads (with roots tracing back to Syria) were great lovers of books and learning. An exceptional period of peaceful coexistence during the 10th and 11th centuries between Judaism, Christianity, and Islam occurred under Umayyad rule, providing a powerful lesson in multiculturalism for our 21st century. Together, the three traditions helped launch a remarkable and enduring cultural revolution.

Merchants of Iniquity is the fourth and final release in the Anthems of al-Andalus Series, which breaks open this largely forgotten and fascinating history for modern readers. All four historical novels revolve around love stories set at pivotal moments in the history of medieval Islamic Spain. Merchants of Iniquity is a sequel to Fortune’s Lament and is set 120 years after Emeralds of the Alhambra. The heroine and hero of Fortune’s Lament, Danah and Yusef, are trapped in the middle of the bloody war between Granada and Christian Spain. The surrender of the Alhambra Palace in 1492 marks the end of the storied history of Islamic Spain, and precipitates the tragic Sephardic diaspora, as well as the fateful voyage of Columbus to claim the Americas.


“This impressive work by Cressler ticks all the boxes for a great historical novel. His extensive research and vivid interpretation of the 15th century battle for power between the Christians and the Moors in southern Spain keeps the reader gripped until the very last page.”
—Joan Fallon, author of the al-Andalus Series, Málaga, Spain

“[Cressler] creates an incredibly touching world in which love and loyalty become visceral, and even mystical, through the deep and complex relationships that he helps us to experience between family, friends, and community as he reveals layer by layer what it means to lead, to serve, and to care about the people and places that surround us.”
—Jackie Royster, Dean Emerita of the Ivan Allen College, Georgia Tech

“Cressler’s nuanced portrayal of these dynamic individuals, together with his masterful use of dramatic irony, invites deep empathy and sparks an achingly unrealistic hope that things might end—or, in this case, might have ended—differently.”
―Julia Baumgardt, Marian University

John D. Cressler is Regents Professor, Schlumberger Chair Professor in Electronics, and Ken Byers Teaching Fellow in Science and Religion at Georgia Tech. He is the author of five non-fiction books, as well as the historical novels Emeralds of the Alhambra, Shadows in the Shining City, and Fortune’s Lament. Merchants of Iniquity is the fourth and final release in the Anthems of al-Andalus Series. Visit the author at:

Page Count: 702
Trim Size: 6 x 9
Publish Date: May 25, 2024
Imprint: Milford House
Genre: Historical

FICTION / Historical / Medieval
FICTION / Romance / Historical / Medieval
FICTION / Religious

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Based on 3 reviews
Robert Wilhelm
Medievil Spain described in a brilliant story

In “Merchants of Iniquity” you will find a work with great depth of character development and emotions, as well as many battle scenes. Cressler’s work is the fourth and final in his series describing Spain in the eight hundred years preceding the voyage of Columbus. He paints a picture that is vivid and personal, delving into the relationships between and among Muslims, Jews, and Christians in medieval Spain. The Anthems of Al-Andalus series is filled with love, strife, and violence. You will see parallels with our world today. This is NOT a book you will be able to put down.

Roger A. Meyer, MD
Merchants is a MUST READ!

Author John Cressler has done it again! In this final installment in his Anthems of al-Andulus anthology, he presents the events that led to the ending of Muslim influence in 15th century Spain. This is a rousing adventure tale based on little-known history that is filled with stirring battlefield action, court and religious intrigue, passionate love, and historical perspective. A page-turner that will totally capture your attention. At the end you will have the double treat of having been entertained and educated! In this time of world-wide conflict amongst Christians, Jews and Muslims, this book and its three predecessors gives readers insight into today's biases and prejudices that goes back at least one thousand years. Not to be missed!

Hugo Vercauteren
Europe today and "Merchants of Iniquity

John Cressler’s energy to believe in a better world is admirable. Once again, he exposed this with his book “Merchants of Iniquity”, in the Anthem of Andalus series: love stories set at peaceful coexistence between Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, under Muslim rule in Medieval Spain.
Many of us, Europeans believed “the second world war” would be the last one. Nevertheless, disaster struck again: since February 2022 the war in Ukraine and since last year the war in Gaza. Furthermore, Islam in Europe is increasingly viewed with distrust, often referred to as “political Islam”. There is an increasing sense of crisis and conflict in Europe. It appears that many Christians are unable to resolve disputes with Islam and vice versa. Moreover, the ugly face of anti-Semitism is back again.
John couldn’t create a better moment to share his new book. Although in discussions, I experienced, often people viewed this period of peace and prosperity in Medieval Spanish, when the Islam was in power, as a “fairytale”. Well, let it be a fairytale. Often a love story helps us to understand history; and maybe to understand Medieval Islamic Spain, as both a political Islam, and a period of spiritual well-being. The Muslim Umayyads were great lovers of books and learning. Although Islamic Spain came to an end with the surrender of the Alhambra palace in 1492. Additionally, it resulted in the tragic Sephardi diaspora.
I have faith that John Cressler’s books can provide us with a different perspective to contribute to better understanding in Europe and prevent further violence. We welcome any new insight.
Hugo, Belgium, Europe.