The Queen's Vow: A Novel of Isabella of Castile

Kobo ebook | June 12, 2012

byC. W. Gortner

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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.

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Praise for The Queen’s Vow
“A masterwork by a skilled craftsman . . . Make a vow to read this book.”—New York Journal of Books
“A beautifully crafted piece of historical fiction . . . Gortner’s vivid details blend with his deeply intensive research to re-create Isabella and Castile in a way that the reader will find compelling and immersive, bringing not just the Queen but the whole nation to life.”—RT Book Reviews
“A fascinating story . . . Through his creative and spellbinding storytelling, Gortner’s readers come to know Isabella intimately in mind, heart and body as she lives through a tumultuous time, her intense longing to be the determiner of her own unique destiny.”—Wichita Falls Times Record News
“A novel of triumph as Isabella vanquishes her enemies one by one . . . [She is] a very human and appealing character.”—The Roanoke Times
“Politically charged, passionate . . . [a] well-researched, intriguing historical.”—Bookreporter

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From the Publisher

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...

Format:Kobo ebookPublished:June 12, 2012Publisher:Random House Publishing GroupLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0345523989

ISBN - 13:9780345523983

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Customer Reviews of The Queen's Vow: A Novel of Isabella of Castile


Rated 3 out of 5 by from Good read Good book, easy to read providing insight into the person who was also famous formidable queen. Enjoy!
Date published: 2015-05-03
Rated 4 out of 5 by from The Queen's Vow, by C.W. Gortner THE QUEEN'S VOW, based on the life and times of Isabel of Castille is a fascinating read. Destined to be queen, Isabel’s path towards this goal was never easy. When Isabel lost her father at a young age, she was left to care for her mentally ill mother as well as her younger brother. Her older step brother then automatically became king…and that’s basically when all the problems began. From his cruel and unfaithful wife who tried everything to get Isabel banished; to the birthing of an illegitimate child that would, for the longest time, become a thorn in the path of Isabel’s becoming queen- let’s just say that her rise to ‘queendom’ was not handed to her graciously. I loved reading about how she met her beau, the handsome Fernando,who would one day become her husband and king. I loved everything about this love story. Their rise to a duo reign was most fascinating. Even with Fernando by her side though, Isabel was a queen in her own right; a woman with a mind of her own and a heart of gold. Some would argue that at a certain point in the book Isabel became ruthless for the sake of Christendom, through the Crusades and eviction of non-Christians. But when one thinks of the times and the narrow-mindedness of the people back then, it seemed to me that Isabel showed signs of being most avant-garde in her relationships with non-Christians. Isabel loved her people and the good of her country always came first- but as history has proved itself, this was too often guided by the dictates of religion. The Queen’s Vow contains all that is appealing to me in historical fiction, with the right blend of history, love, internal and external battles, spicy historical details within family relations- and most importantly a heroine to be admired for strength of character mixed with a beautiful caring soul. Queen Isabel, who we all learned about as the queen who allowed Christopher Columbus to set sail for America comes to life in this excellent book. She is real, she is strong and she is amazing! Isabel of Castille; my ‘new’ favourite queen! Next on my list, I am definitely reading the continuation of this story in Gortner’s previous book: THE LAST QUEEN
Date published: 2012-10-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Absorbing and vivid The Queen’s Vow by C.W. Gortner is an absorbing and utterly time consuming book. And, I mean that in the best possible way. I could scarcely put it down as it was so rich in detail that the more I read, the more I became pulled in, immersed and lost. What a wonderful place to be set adrift. The story is about Isabella of Castille. I knew very little of her before – being a Tudorphile, I know more of her daughter, Katherine. What little I did know pertained to Columbus and the Inquisition. I had no idea she had to fight so hard for her throne. She had so much strength, so much pride. But, she was also very complicated and flawed. I appreciate that she was written as such. I dislike reading a novel that either shows a character as all good or all bad. Christopher has blended her traits well and turned her into a truly fascinating historical figure. Mr. Gortner weaves a wonderful tale in The Queen’s Vow. I found myself often rereading sentences and yes, sometimes full paragraphs because the vivid descriptiveness was so beautiful that I wanted to experience it a second time. I think he captured Isabella’s surroundings perfectly and described them in such a way that would have made her proud. It was as if he was writing them through her eyes and all the love she had came shining through. It’s apparent he’s been to these places and loves them, too. I can’t say enough good things about the book – it’s a triumph, much like Isabella herself.
Date published: 2012-07-03