Wednesday, July 10, 2013

A Novel of Isabella of Castile

The Queen's Vow by C.W. Gortner
: June 1, 2012 by Ballantine Books
One aspect I love of historical fiction is getting to discover new cultures and better understand what life was like at a given place and time. Except since I seem to read about the same time period over and over (notably Tudor England), when I read something I'm not quite as familiar with, it's like a breath of fresh air. I have read of Spain before, but never this exact time period. For that specific reason, I couldn't help but enjoy myself with this.

I've read in reviews before about seeing characters grow, and normally think it's a silly statement. Except with this, it finally hit home for me. I thought it was pretty amazing to see both Isabella and Fernado grow individually, as well as the way the relationship between the two of them evolved.

I do think the tempo of the book slowed in the final chapters as more time was spent on politics and wars, and less on Isabella and her relationships. And while I don't think you can justify the Inquisition, I do think by the story's end you can at least understand how Isabella made it there.

One of my biggest regrets while reading this is that the last Gortner book I read, The Last Queen, wasn't fresher in my mind. Although Juana is Isabella's daughter, it probably makes more sense for me to go back and reread it now as a sequel. While I've still only read two by Gortner, I do think he's well on his way to becoming one of my favorites.


Disclosure: I was provided this book through Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours. All opinions expressed are my own.


  1. This sounds like a great book, and I haven't read about this setting/era before. I'll have to check this author out!

  2. This sounds interesting! And I agree that if you can find a lot more books about Tudor England than other countries at the same time.

    1. I think you'd really like it! Especially if you haven't read a lot of Spain before.