The Last Queen by C.W. Gortner
A Novel

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Synopsis

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.
 

About C.W. Gortner

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C. W. Gortner’s historical novels have garnered international praise and been translated into fourteen languages. He divides his time between Northern California and Antigua, Guatemala.
 
Published July 29, 2008 by Ballantine Books. 449 pages
Genres: History, Romance, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Last Queen

Examiner

Gortner is the story of Queen Juana of Castile also known as Juana la Loca.

Sep 17 2009 | Read Full Review of The Last Queen: A Novel

Examiner

Gortner’s‘The Last Queen’, Juanita is painted sympathetically as a woman who is overcome with the sexism of her historical era, which is not necessarily the way history has painted her – the insane queen whose throne had to be taken from her and then she was isolated and in the end she was left t...

Dec 01 2010 | Read Full Review of The Last Queen: A Novel

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