Monday, July 15, 2013

The Queen's Vow

Author: C.W. Gortner
Goodreads Rating: 3.84
Pages: 400
Format: Finished Copy for Blog Tour

No one believed I was destined for greatness. So begins Isabella’s story, in this evocative, vividly imagined novel about one of history’s most famous and controversial queens—the warrior who united a fractured country, the champion of the faith whose reign gave rise to the Inquisition, and the visionary who sent Columbus to discover a New World. Acclaimed author C. W. Gortner envisages the turbulent early years of a woman whose mythic rise to power would go on to transform a monarchy, a nation, and the world.  Young Isabella is barely a teenager when she and her brother are taken from their mother’s home to live under the watchful eye of their half-brother, King Enrique, and his sultry, conniving queen. There, Isabella is thrust into danger when she becomes an unwitting pawn in a plot to dethrone Enrique. Suspected of treason and held captive, she treads a perilous path, torn between loyalties, until at age seventeen she suddenly finds herself heiress of Castile, the largest kingdom in Spain. Plunged into a deadly conflict to secure her crown, she is determined to wed the one man she loves yet who is forbidden to her—Fernando, prince of Aragon. As they unite their two realms under “one crown, one country, one faith,” Isabella and Fernando face an impoverished Spain beset by enemies. With the future of her throne at stake, Isabella resists the zealous demands of the inquisitor Torquemada even as she is seduced by the dreams of an enigmatic navigator named Columbus. But when the Moors of the southern domain of Granada declare war, a violent, treacherous battle against an ancient adversary erupts, one that will test all of Isabella’s resolve, her courage, and her tenacious belief in her destiny. From the glorious palaces of Segovia to the battlefields of Granada and the intrigue-laden gardens of Seville, The Queen’s Vow sweeps us into the tumultuous forging of a nation and the complex, fascinating heart of the woman who overcame all odds to become Isabella of Castile.

I have to admit that I was drawn to this book by both the historical fiction as well as the beautiful dress that graced the cover. I've never read much about the Spanish royals, so this was an entirely new section of history for me to read about.

Usually when it comes to history I can be a stickler for the facts, but in this case, there was no way for me to do that because I didn't really know this era or these royals, so I cannot attest to the historical accuracy, but I can say  that it was a beautifully woven story that had me not wanting to put the book down. At times I hated that I had to go to work because I just wanted to know if Isabella was going to prevail over her half brother or if she was going to stay locked in her rooms a prisoner of his capricious wife.

I think one of my favorite parts of this book was that Isabella and Ferdinando seemed to really be in love as opposed to most royals who have an arranged marriage and they make it work. Just looking at Enrique and his wife Johanna, who both had very different proclivities, but were forced to stay together  for the worse of the realm.

Gortner does an amazing job painting the trials and tribulations that Isabella and Ferdinando face as they struggle to make a united front and prove their right to rule. I was rooting for the two of them as I read, but I was also rooting for Isabella to find her own voice and for her to come into her own right as queen, and what a marvelous job she did.

I will definitely be reading more for Gortner, who paints such a wonderful and enticing picture of history.

The Court's Decision:


1 comment:

  1. OH OH OH. Usually I don't read books like this, but I so want to now!



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