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Wednesday, September 5, 2012


Book Review  September 5th 2012

Title – The Queen’s Vow

Author – C.W. Gortner

Historical Fiction – 400 pages

Date Published – June 12th 2012

Publisher – Ballantine


Book Description (From

Publication Date: June 12, 2012

No one believed I was destined for greatness.

So begins Isabella’s story, in this evocative, vividly imagined novel about one of history’s most famous and controversial queens—the warrior who united a fractured country, the champion of the faith whose reign gave rise to the Inquisition, and the visionary who sent Columbus to discover a New World. Acclaimed author C. W. Gortner envisages the turbulent early years of a woman whose mythic rise to power would go on to transform a monarchy, a nation, and the world.

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.

From the glorious palaces of Segovia to the battlefields of Granada and the intrigue-laden gardens of Seville, The Queen’s Vow sweeps us into the tumultuous forging of a nation and the complex, fascinating heart of the woman who overcame all odds to become Isabella of Castile.


My Review:


There are some books which grab you and hold tight until the end, and then there are some books which hold you more gently but stay with you long after you have finished them.  Have you ever had a meal at a restaurant where weeks later you still find yourself thinking about it and longing for it again.  Well that is the best way that I can describe this book.  To be quite honest, right when I finished it, I wasn’t sure about how much I liked it.  I knew that the writing was beautiful and the characters were fascinating and there was never a lull throughout the entire book.  But I was left feeling a little sad and angry at the end.  I felt as though I had taken a very long journey with these characters and at the end I still had so many questions I wanted answered.  Now this is probably silly of me as a reader and reviewer and also very selfish, but I wanted everything at the end tied up in a neat little package.  But what I was left with was a story and characters that I continue to think about and wonder about some 3 weeks after I have finished the book.  Sometimes you don’t realize how beautiful something is until you take a step back.  If you love historical fiction then do yourself a favor and read this book.  I am have already purchased another book by this author now which will give me some more answers and closure regarding this story, “The Last Queen”.  Highly Recommended!


  1. Once you read one C.W. Gortner book, you will want to read them all. He is one of the greatest historical fiction authors out there. I am ALWAYS moved by his novels.

  2. Hi there, the September edition of Books You Loved has now posted. Here is the link Books You Loved September Edition Please do pop by and link in a post about a book you loved. Maybe this one? Cheers

  3. No worries, Christie - I've put this in for you. Chers

  4. Just a note to let you know that your link in to Books You Loved: September was showcased in the October edition which has just posted. Would love to see another contribution from you this month! This is the link - Books You Loved October Edition