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Monday, August 10, 2009

The Last Queen

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!

16 comments:

Esme said...

Great review-I will have to read this.

Holly said...

Terrific review. This is on my list. I will get to it eventually!!

Candleman said...

Would I like it or is it a chick book?

Cassie said...

I saw the movie Mad Love--it's in spanish, and pretty good but there were some steamy scenes. I've often thought of watching it again. I thought it was so lucky for a girl to love her arranged husband. From what I remember the movie doesn't end happily.

Anna said...

I love historical fiction, and I've heard good things about this one. I plan to read it at some point. Glad you enjoyed it.

--Anna
Diary of an Eccentric

Marie said...

Wow, you know a book when it gets passed around- and around- right away! Great review!

SuziQoregon said...

I got the audio version of this last week from the library and loaded it onto my ipod. Not sure when I'll get to it, but happy to see another positive review.

Staci said...

Love historical fiction and this one certainly sounds like it delivers!! Excellent review!

C.W. Gortner said...

Thank you for this lovely review! It's always marvelous to hear my book has been enjoyed, and I hope your mother and daughter enjoy it too. All best, C.W.

Diane said...

The cover is great; so happy you enjoyed this one.

Kailana said...

I really must read this before long. I have seen really good reviews of it!

Zibilee said...

I've heard some really good things about this book, and have been wanting to read it. I am glad you really liked it. I have a feeling that I will too. Going to put this one on my wish list, if it isn't already there. Thanks!

Dar said...

This is on my shelf to read. It sounds so good and I'm glad you liked it. That makes me even more excited to get to it.

Carrie K said...

I loved the book and review really did it justice.

karen! said...

Thanks for posting about this book, it sounds great.

Iliana said...

Great review! I really enjoyed this one too and now I really would like to read something about Isabella and Ferdinand.