The Last Queen: A Novel by C.  W. Gortner

The Last Queen: A Novel

byC. W. Gortner

Kobo ebook | July 29, 2008

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BONUS: This edition contains an excerpt from C. W. Gortner's The Queen's Vow.

Juana of Castile, the last queen of Spanish blood to inherit her country’s throne, has been for centuries an enigmatic figure shrouded in lurid myth. Was she the bereft widow of legend who was driven mad by her loss, or has history misjudged a woman who was ahead of her time? In his stunning new novel, C. W. Gortner challenges the myths about Queen Juana, unraveling the mystery surrounding her to reveal a brave, determined woman we can only now begin to fully understand.

The third child of Queen Isabel and King Ferdinand of Spain, Juana is born amid her parents’ ruthless struggle to unify their kingdom, bearing witness to the fall of Granada and Columbus’ s discoveries. At the age of sixteen, she is sent to wed Philip, the archduke of Flanders, as part of her parents’ strategy to strengthen Spain, just as her youngest sister, Catherine of Aragon, is sent to England to become the first wife of Henry VIII.

Juana finds unexpected love and passion with her handsome young husband, the sole heir to the Habsburg Empire. At first she is content with her children and her life in Flanders. But when tragedy strikes and she inherits the Spanish throne, Juana finds herself plunged into a battle for power against her husband that grows to involve the major monarchs of Europe. Besieged by foes on all sides, her intelligence and pride used as weapons against her, Juana vows to secure her crown and save Spain from ruin, even if it could cost her everything.

With brilliant, lyrical prose, novelist and historian C. W. Gortner conjures Juana through her own words, taking the reader from the somber majesty of Spain to the glittering and lethal courts of Flanders, France, and Tudor England. The Last Queen brings to life all the grandeur and drama of an incomparable era, and the singular humanity of this courageous, passionate princess whose fight to claim her birthright captivated the world.

Title:The Last Queen: A NovelFormat:Kobo ebookPublished:July 29, 2008Publisher:Random House Publishing GroupLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:034550741X

ISBN - 13:9780345507419

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Rated 5 out of 5 by from LOVE This book was excellent! I started reading it and found that I could not put it down. I would definitely recommend!
Date published: 2017-10-10
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Nice read! Interesting book about a woman persecuted by men and their ambitions. Sad to see a woman called insane simply because she was a ruler born a girl.
Date published: 2015-05-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Very well written. Captivating! I started reading this book on December 9th 2014 and I am half way through it. I am finding it so good that once I start reading I find it difficult to put it down. Juana is a captivating, passionate and strong willed character, which I love. I have been a history fanatic since I was fourteen, so for eight years now, and I enjoy learning history. I don't know much about Spanish royalty but after reading this book, I'm going to start. :) I would recommend this for anyone who enjoys historical fiction and who want a captivating story to get lost in.
Date published: 2014-12-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wow! This book was so good. The Last Queen / C.W. Gortner 4.75 stars History has portrayed Juana of Castile as “Juana the mad”. This novel has brought her to life. Juana is the daughter of Ferdinand of Aragon and Isabel of Castile, and sister to Katherine of Aragon (Henry VIII’s first wife). She was married to Philip, the archduke of Flanders. Initially they seemed to be in love, and had a wonderful marriage. But, Philip’s hunger for power overcame the love they may have had initially, and he desired to be King of Spain when the chance presented itself. When a series of deaths befell Juana’s family, it became a fight between them on who would rule Spain. Poor Juana never seemed to get a break. I didn’t know anything about Juana before reading this book, except that she was Katherine of Aragon’s sister, and that she was thought to be insane. Wow! This book was so good. What an interesting character Juana is, and I didn’t want to put the book down. When I did put it down, I wanted to get back to it. There are a lot of historical fiction novels I really like, but this one was one that gripped me from the start. There is also an afterward that fills us in on what happened after the novel ends, as well as a Q&A with the author, and a little bit about some of the events that really did happen. I’d love to read more by this author, as well as more about Juana.
Date published: 2010-07-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wonderful book on Juana la Loca I had to say I loved this book. A lot. I liked how Juana stood out from the rest of her sisters and it was nice to see Catalina (afterwards becoming Catherine of Aragon) have a "cameo" appearence in the story. Juana is very headstrong, and despite what she goes through, she manages to be steadfast and it was as if nothing could break her. I admired Juana a lot in this book. I liked how the relationship between Juana and Philip started. It was lovely and reminded me a lot of the love between Catalina and Arthur in The Constant Princess by Philippa Gregory. It was so sad to see it so short lived. When Philip shows his colors the reader realizes he's not such a great loving person after all. Perhaps because he did not have the right influences and not the most greatest of advisors, however it was sad to see his ambition get to his head. It was so surprising to see Juana so steady and steadfast and even stands up against Philip (although she's beaten back down to submission). I admire her bravery and courage to stand up to a court ruled by men, it seemed as if she was by herself the majority of the time. The story flowed flawlessly and there were no bumps or stops to inturrupt the fluidity of this book. If you want something with lots of court intrigue and plotting this is something for you. There is a lot of plotting behind every character's back in this book and when it's realized, there's explosive confrontations filled with emotion and sometimes violence. I really liked the little tidbits of Spanish in this book (small phrases) it added more realism to the story and it enhanced the reader's ability to actually feel like they were right there in Medieval Spain. I felt a lot of sympathy towards Juana. Although she's very strong, I knew she had her limits and she could only take so much. I realized then, it's not really that she's "crazy" moreso, because of the emotional, mental and sometimes physical abuse it's no wonder she went through a mental breakdown. Juana herself is a very emotional character. She's explosive and has a temper, she's filled with different feelings and is a very passionate person in this book. It's indeed a very sad story. Juana goes through one tragic event after another and she really has no one to trust. Amist the large court with very few people on her side, Juana is a very lonely character. Overall a wonderful book for those always curious or interested in Juana la Loca. The author's note at the end also provides very good information as to what happens afterwards to Juana. It's a very sad tragic tale, and paints Juana in a very different light It's actually a refreshing look on Juana and sheds off the myth of a "madwoman" who was probably not really that crazy after all.
Date published: 2009-10-05
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Well Written Historical Fiction! A wonderful historical fiction based on the life of Juana of Castile (older sister to Catalina (Katherine) - 1st wife of Henry VIII). The novel follows Juana's life from being a young infanta in Spain to being the unexpected heir of Castile. This is a well written novel that any historical fiction fan will enjoy. I really enjoyed Gortner's take on Juana and some of the stranger circumstances she was involved in. Where many historians and authors interpret these circumstances a proof of Juana's insanity, Gortner shows a different side - that of a woman struggling to protect her family, her throne, and her dignity against difficult, if not impossible, odds. Although I very much enjoyed the way Juana was portrayed by Gortner, he didn't completely capture the female perspective - there were several passages where it was obvious to me that the author was male. Overall, he did a better job writing from a female point of view then most male authors but his male voice did come through at some points in the novel.
Date published: 2009-07-09