The Queen’s Vow

      One of my favorite people in history is Catherine of Aragon.  I have read up on her on many occasions, but not until I read The Queen’s Vow did I realize that she was the daughter of Queen Isabella and King Fernando!  See, it’s true that you learn something new every day.  Here’s a synopsis of the book…

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.

When I finished The Queen’s Vow : a novel of Isabella of Castile by C.W. Gortner this week, I found that  I really liked it and even wanted to know more!  Though it is a fictional account of the life of Isabella of Castile, I found myself lost in the past and even cheering on Isabella.  I have to say, I really loved how the author portrayed the relationship between Isabella and Fernando.  (I kept wanting to call him Ferdinand throughout the whole book…) It’s not often you see a couple in that day in age who are together and want to be together.  I also loved Isabella’s spunk and strong character.  I’d like to think that even though this book is a work of fiction, that perhaps there is some truth to the tale.  I also enjoyed her relationship with her right hand lady, Beatriz.  Theirs was a friendship that endured everything, and yet in those desperate times they were able to find a bit of laughter and joy together.  Here are a few quotes that I really loved from the book… 


Pg. 178
“I can’t believe you are mine,’ he whispered, echoing my own thoughts.  He looked directly into my eyes as he spoke, for without our shoes, we were almost of equal height.  I had a sudden memory of our hands entwined; of how I’d thought they resembled separate strands of silk off the same skein…”

Pg. 331
He stood before me with his chin lifted as though I should have been expecting him, as if everything that had come before was but an interlude to this crucial meeting between us.”

Pg. 333
“The world is only as small as we see it, my lady.  Imagination knows no limits.”–



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