Today’s tour is organized by Amy at Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours. Thank you so much for the opportunity, Amy!
About C.W. Gortner:
C.W. Gortner is the author of The Last Queen, The Confessions of Catherine de Medici, The Tudor Secret and The Secret Lion. He holds an MFA in Writing with an emphasis on Renaissance Studies from the New College of California. In his extensive travels to research his books, he has experienced life in a Spanish castle and danced a galliard in a Tudor great hall. He’s currently at work on his fourth novel for Ballantine Books, about the early years of Lucrezia Borgia, as well as the third novel in his Tudor series, The Elizabeth I Spymaster Chronicles (US) or Elizabeth’s Spymaster (UK). Half-Spanish by birth, he lives in Northern California.
About The Queen’s Vow:
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.
I love a good historical fiction, and I especially wanted to branch out from the English monarchs I tend to read about. So when offered the opportunity to read The Queen’s Vow, I jumped. After all, Isabella isn’t English, and she’s the Queen who sent Christopher Columbus on his way across the ocean. Of course, she’s also the Queen who authorized the Spanish Inquisition, so I’m not overly enamored of her…
Isabella is not yet four when her father dies and her half-brother Enrique ascends to the throne. Isabella and her little brother Alfonso are hurried away for their safety, and she doesn’t return to court for nine years.
When she does, though, Isabella and her brother Alfonso are separated, and both get embroiled in court politics – by chance, association, misdirection, and even with eyes wide open. She’s loyal enough to Enrique and Spain to not want to cause trouble, but sometimes it seems as though the fates conspire against her even in that.
Isabella is a fascinating character. Sometimes she’s too melodramatic, and I have to remember she’s still just a teenager. She’s smart, devout, and opinionated. I thought it was too bad that she relinquishes a lot of her opinions to Fernando upon their marriage, because some of the decisions she made were to placate him – whereas she might have done the opposite and stood firm otherwise.
The Queen’s Vow is an engrossing tale of this fascinating Spanish Queen, and a must-read for historical fiction fans who love the time and place.
drey’s rating: Pick it up!
Have you read The Queen’s Vow? What did you think? If you haven’t, stick around for a giveaway posting later today!