July 26, 2013

The Queen's Vow by C.W. Gortner



The Queen's Vow by C.W. Gortner
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Publication Date: Paperback, July 2013
Categories: Historical, Literary

Description:

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 Thoughts:

All I want to do is squeeee and gush and tell you to READ THIS BOOK! I'll try to contain myself.


You may already know that I'm a big fan of historical fiction. I'm always on the lookout for a book that can take me back in time. It's been a long while since I read a smashing good royal historical fiction. Until now.

The Queen's Vow is about Isabella of Castile. You know Isabella. She's the gal that sponsored Columbus's voyage to the New World. If that's all you know about her you are missing out. 

I've read other accounts of her life. She's been painted as the cruel queen behind the Spanish Inquisition. There is so much more to her story. Her motives for supporting the Inquisition aren't as cut and dried as it would seem. Gortner did his research and he clears up many misconceptions.

Isabella was a women who took matters into her own hands. She married who she wanted to in a time when that was slightly frowned upon. She took control of a country that was in the hands of crooked noblemen and under constant enemy threat. She fought for her beloved country, she fought to retain her crown. She was a strong, fascinating woman.

C.W. Gortner brings Isabella to vivid life. His rendering is lush, opulent, and absolutely scrumptious! 

I'll say it again: READ THIS BOOK.

Beware Mr. Gortner, you have a new FANGIRL!

To visit the rest of the stops on this tour please see the schedule at Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours.



C.W. Gortner is the author of The Last Queen, The Confessions of Catherine de Medici, The Tudor Secret and The Queen's Vow.  He holds an MFA in Writing with an emphasis on Renaissance Studies from the New College of California. In his extensive travels to research his books, he has experienced life in a Spanish castle and danced a galliard in a Tudor great hall. Half-Spanish by birth, he lives in Northern California.
You can find more information on C.W. Gortner's website and blog.  You can also follow him on FacebookTwitter and Goodreads.

42 comments:

  1. You're enthusiam is infectious!! Love the gifs too. I'll look it up. :)

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    1. Thanks Heather! I just loooved this one, can you tell? ;)

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  2. Must try! This one sounds awesome.

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    1. I learned a LOT, which was awesome :)

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  3. I've discovered I quite like historical fiction, but I've only ever read Philippa Gregory and Alison Weir. Maybe it's time for me to transition from English kinds and queens to Spanish ones.

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    1. I went through a Tudor phase that lasted for about...oh 100 years or so ;) It was wonderful to learn about a different royal family!

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  4. I don't know enough about Isabella, this book seems like a good place to start!

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    1. This is a GREAT place to start. I didn't know enough about her, what a woman!!

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  5. I read Gortner's THE LAST QUEEN for TuesBookTalk some time ago and really enjoyed it. I've been meaning to read more of his books--I'll read this one for sure.

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    1. It's a super book, I hope you dig it. I'm definitely going to be seeking out more of his stuff :)

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  6. Well, you got my attention with C.W. Gortner's name! He is one of my favorite historical fiction writers, and I love historical fiction. Lately, I've not read a lot, so nice to know there's a good one out there waiting for me.

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    1. He's a new discovery for me! Hooray!

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  7. This sounds so absolutely lovely! I'm in the "funded Columbus and...." camp when it comes to Queen Isabella, but she does sound so absolutely interesting!

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    1. She was such a fascinating woman! This book was a great way to learn more about her :)

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  8. It looks like this novel was just published, but I feel like I read it several years ago. Did this author write another book about Isabella? Is this a sequel?

    Steph

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    1. I see that the author answered this question below ;) It was recently released in paperback.

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  9. Thanks so much! I love this review, made me laugh - not a common event while on tour. In answer to Quirky's question, this is the paperback release of the hardcover, which was published last year, not several years ago. As far as I know, it's the first novel on Isabella to appear in English in over 20 years.

    Hope everyone enjoys it!

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    1. I'm so glad I made you laugh! It was my pleasure to read and review your book and I can't wait to read another :) Thanks a million for visiting!!

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  10. Sounds like a great book about a fascinating subject. I'll be checking it out. Thanks for the review!

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    1. Yes and yes! :D I hope you do, it's a great one!

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  11. I am a fan of C.W. Gortner and this book was great. Nice review!

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    1. Thanks Naida, it was my pleasure to read this one :)

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  12. You know I can't resist a good piece of historical fiction and you definitely sold this one! I love all the history around the Spanish Inquisition, too. Looks like another one to add to Mt. TBR!

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    1. It's a fascinating read Shannon. I'm glad it's going on your pile ;)

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  13. I love historical fiction, so this one will come on my list of books I want to buy. Thanks for the very enthusiastic review, love it!

    Kind regards,

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    1. Hooray! I do hope you read this one and let me know what you think of it :)

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  14. I'm going to be on the lookout for this one!

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  15. I haven't read a royal historical fiction book in a while, so maybe I'll jump back into it :)

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    1. I went through a phase of those years ago and I think I read every decent one out there, lol. It had been a long time and I'm glad I re-started with this one!

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  16. Okay, okay, I'll read it!!

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    1. Ha ha! That's right!! You should!!

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  17. LOL I saw that it was historical fiction and thought, she is probably flipping out over this book!!!!!! :) :) :) Glad it didn't disappoint!

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    1. Ha ha, you know me! ;) It didn't disappoint at all, hooray!

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  18. This sounds great! Historical fiction and stories about strong women are some of my favorite things to read about :)

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    1. Right?? Isabella is the epitome of strong woman! Such a great read :)

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  19. Yippee, so glad you loved this one too! Now you have to read The Confessions of Catherine de Medici and The Last Queen, they're just as brilliant! I'm reading the 2nd book in Christopher's historical suspense series this week ... have I mentioned I love Mr Christopher lol

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    1. I will absolutely be reading those!! :D Hooray!

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  20. Then this is definitely a must read if you have to say it twice! Sounds awesome, Jen!

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    1. It really is, I promise :D It was RIGHT up my alley!

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  21. This one sounds interesting! I don't read much historical fiction, but I should try to mix up my selections a bit (particularly right now because I'm in a bit of reading slump).

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    1. This truly is one of the best historical fiction books I've ever read. It had been a long time since I read a royal book like this and this one was worth the wait :)

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