The Last Queen

The Last Queen

A Novel

Book - 2008
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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. From the Hardcover edition.
Publisher: New York : Ballantine Books, [2008]
Edition: First edition.
Copyright Date: ©2008
ISBN: 9780345501844
Branch Call Number: GOR
Characteristics: 368 pages : maps ; 24 cm


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Jul 18, 2015

Extremely compelling and masterful story of Catherine of Aragon's sister, Juana La Loca. Gortner shows through meticulous research and great writing that Juana--dismissed by her male contemporaries as erratic and insane--was actually a passionate and forward-thinking woman. She was caught up in political intrigue with an ultimately tragic result. Recommended for fans of the Tudor period!

Sep 27, 2012

Yes, i agree with previous comments. This was well written and provides a wonderful tale of what pssible could've happened and the motivations and struggles of an amazing woman! If you love historical fiction, Spain AND monarchy, en this is deifinitely a must-read!

cubswin1979 Feb 25, 2011

A very interesting read from a great author!!!

Jul 08, 2010

I read this book for the Adult summer reading club. Of the three this was my favorite, definitely hard to put down. The book allows the reader a revealing look at the royal "mind set" and lifestyle, as well as descriptive portraits of the Spanish countryside. Later however, as Juana (the last queen) comes of age, we are guided through complicated layers of deceit and treachery, secret alliances, and betrayal. All pressures, a queen who loves her country, must learn to navigate.

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