The Queen's Vow by C. W. Gortner

78%

27 Critic Reviews

The Queen’s Vow is a story of royal intrigue, politics, a touch of romance, and a good deal of controversy. I recommend it to fans of Historical Fiction...
-Bookfan

Synopsis

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
 

About C. W. Gortner

See more books from this Author
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 June 12, 2012 by Ballantine Books. 401 pages
Genres: History, Literature & Fiction. Fiction
Bookmark Counts:
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Critic reviews for The Queen's Vow
All: 27 | Positive: 25 | Negative: 2

Examiner

Excellent
Reviewed by LUCY BERTOLDI on Sep 06 2012

The Queen’s Vow contains all that is appealing in historical fiction, with the right blend of history, love, internal and external battles, spicy historical details within family relations...

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Examiner

Excellent
Reviewed by NICOLE LANGAN on Jun 20 2012

What Gortner does so brilliantly is dramatize a vast multitude of historical events into a compelling, riveting drama. Nearly 400 pages of battles and betrothals, plots and persecutions move at a brisk pace...

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Historical Novel Society

Excellent
Reviewed by Troy Reed on May 01 2012

Gortner has again produced a richly detailed book that is hard to put down.

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Devourer of Books

Good
Reviewed by Jen on Jun 12 2012

...takes his readers so deeply into Isabella’s head that we can almost not believe that she will some day be queen either.

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S. Krishna's Books

Good
Reviewed by Swapna Krishna on Jun 12 2012

Even when the reader knows what is coming because of historical knowledge, it's still fascinating to see how Gortner gets Isabella to that point, especially because he is so meticulous with his characters.

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She Knows

Good
Reviewed by Jen on Jun 12 2012

...with rich historical detail and characters that pop out of the past to be just as vibrant today as they were when they lived more than five centuries ago.

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Literate Housewife

Good
Reviewed by Jennifer on Jul 12 2012

It was both entertaining and it drove me to do further research on the characters and that time period. C.W. Gortner knows well how to vibrantly weave his characters into the fabric of their times.

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Bookfan

Good
Reviewed by Mary on Jun 13 2012

The Queen’s Vow is a story of royal intrigue, politics, a touch of romance, and a good deal of controversy. I recommend it to fans of Historical Fiction...

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Drey's Library

Good
Reviewed by drey on Jun 14 2012

The Queen’s Vow is an engrossing tale of this fascinating Spanish Queen, and a must-read for historical fiction fans who love the time and place.

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The Novel Life

Good
Reviewed by STACY on Jun 12 2012

Gortner reveals to us a Queen of fortitude and strong beliefs. The decisions she made, right and wrong, are given background to help us understand the woman, the Queen...

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Tina's Book Reviews

Good
Reviewed by Tina on Jul 12 2012

The novel came to life for me and despite everything that history and school has taught me of Queen Isabella, I found her to be a fascinating larger than life character.

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Burton Book Review

Good
Reviewed by Marie on Jul 20 2012

This is a satisfying read for those who are interested in seeing a characterization of Isabella that possibly offers clues to why she made the epic decisions that she did, especially in regards to the persecution of her people.

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History and Women.

Good
Reviewed by Mirella Patzer on Jun 19 2012

The beautiful prose, blended with bountiful detailed descriptions, make this novel a delight to read.

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Historical-Fiction.com

Good
Reviewed by Arleigh on Sep 15 2012

...breathes life into a complex and misunderstood woman, from her early childhood in royal poverty, through her volatile adolescence at her brother’s insidious court, and finally to her trials and triumphs as Queen of Castile.

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Book Drunkard

Good
Reviewed by Martina on Jul 02 2012

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.

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Ageless Pages Reviews

Good
Reviewed by Jessie on May 16 2012

Without condescension or annoying repetition, this mostly-factual story of 15th-century hotbed of war, religious strife and rebellion in what is now known as simply Spain, is riveting from start to finish...

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the book garden

Good
Reviewed by ANNE on Jul 03 2012

...does a wonderful job of bringing her to life, I really feel like I got to know a lot about Isabella, the fears she faced, the determination she had to be Queen, her religious beliefs, and the great love she had for her husband and children.

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Respiring Thoughts

Below average
Reviewed by y Renae on Jul 13 2012

Weak characterization and juvenile prose made this less than a memorable read for me, and while I think the topic has promise, the overall effect of The Queen’s Vow was not a good one.

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Bippity Boppity Book

Good
Reviewed by Holly on Jul 02 2012

I really liked seeing the Isabella behind the warrior queen persona. In The Queen's Vow she has insecurities and doubts just like anyone else and deals with the joy brought on by her successes followed by heartbreak and betrayal at every turn.

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The Redheaded Reader

Good
Reviewed by Farin on May 28 2012

As with The Last Queen, Gortner does a masterful job of telling both the historical and human story of Isabella.

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A Girl Walks Into a Bookstore

Below average
Reviewed by Katherine on Aug 24 2012

The prose is stiff, as is the dialogue, and I found it hard to like or relate to Isabella’s plight...

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Life in the Thumb

Good
Reviewed by Staci on Jul 12 2012

...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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Jenny Loves To Read

Good
Reviewed by Jenny Girl on Jul 11 2012

The Queen's Vow is a wonderfully imagined read about the early life and times of Queen Isabella of Spain. Gortner's writing planted me firmly within Isabella's world...

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BOOKS, BELLES, AND BEAUX

Good
Reviewed by JoAnne on Jul 05 2012

We see her as a strong and dedicated ruler, contrasted with the more human, frailer side.....a daughter concerned about an ailing mother, a wife struggling to work out personal problems with her husband...

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A Book Hoarder

Good
Reviewed by Jess on Jun 26 2012

Overall, the story was not only fascinating but also entertaining. Gortner was able to show how Isabella’s world must have felt...

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Confessions of an Avid Reader

Good
Reviewed by Melissa on Jun 22 2012

I particularly enjoyed how Gortner chose to characterize Isabella, who is portrayed as an intelligent, loyal and determined woman...

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The Maiden’s Court

Good
Reviewed by Heather on Jun 12 2012

While I enjoyed all the aspects of this story of Isabella’s life, I most enjoyed reading about the Reconquista and especially how she wanted to be out at the battlefield.

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Reader Rating for The Queen's Vow
81%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 262 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


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