Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Book Review: The Last Queen by C. W. Gortner

     From time to time, I'll be doing book reviews on my blog, as I'm not only a writer, but an avid reader. My love for reading came at a very early age, so early in fact, that I couldn't wait to learn it at school, and taught myself how at age four. (Back then in 1966, that was a big deal. Not so much anymore. Oh well.) My reading interests vary from everything from romance to non-fiction true crime, with a special interest in historical biographies. And so, without further ado, here is a book review for you!  

     I have to admit, I'm an anglophile, so reading a novel about a Spanish queen, was a bit out of my interest comfort zone. And yet, I was completely drawn into this well-researched and richly detailed biographical novel, and the story of Juana, heiress to the Spanish throne, and her plight to win the crown, despite a husband and a father desperate to steal it from her. Oh yes,that and the world was told she was mad. (She supposedly kept the coffin of her deceased husbands and his dismembered remains with her wherever she went.) But, author C.W. Gordon, through his first-person point of view, gives the reader another view of Juana, and one that might possibly be closer to the truth. Juana tells us her story - from her arranged and ultimately tormenting marriage to the Hapsburg Emperor's son Philip to their lethal struggle for the throne of Spain. Did Juana really suffer from mental illness or were her actions deliberate to keep her enemies at bay? The novel is exciting, intriguing, fascinating and a must read if historical biographies interest you. This is one novel not to be missed!

5/5 stars!

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