by C. W. Gortner
I enjoyed this book on many levels. It was well written, interesting, taught me about people I didn't know and entertained.
The Last Queen tells of the 3rd child of Ferdinand and Isabel of Spain. She enjoyed a pleasant and somewhat uneventful childhood with her brothers and sisters after Spain conquered the Moors in Granada.
Juana is wed to Philip, heir to the Habsburg Empire when she was only 16. It was interesting to read about the wedding customs and how they differed in Spain and Flanders. I thought it would be very strange to be wedded by proxy in a big ceremony and not really be married at all. Juana was to have another marriage a year or so later when she arrived in Flanders.
Even though she was against her arranged marriage to Philip, they fell in love and enjoyed years of happiness together. I just discovered tonight that there was a movie released in 2002 called Mad Love that is about Juana. It's rated R so I imagine there are some steamy sex scenes. The book isn't steamy but it does indicate that Juana and Philip enjoyed a healthy relationship and that Juana was deeply in love with Philip. Since the book is told from her point of view we never really know Philip's true feelings, though I suspect he loved her, too. In the beginning.
I'm not going to go any further into the story because you'll enjoy the book more if you don't know everything going into it. All I knew was that Juana was Isabel and Ferdinand's daughter. Now that I've read it I will always have great feeling for Juana.
I highly recommend this book to those who love historical fiction, royalty stories, and those who just love a really good book whatever genre it resides. My copy is being lent out to my mother next. One of my daughters want it after that. Really good!