In The Queen’s Vow by CW Gortner, Isabella of Castile was never meant to become queen. As a female royal, it was her duty to be married off as soon as possible and only for the benefit of her family or country. Fate intervenes, and she is thrust into the limelight as her half brother’s only heir. Isabella then defies her brother and custom by marrying her love, Fernando of Aragon, creating one of the ultimate power couples in history.
Let’s face it. Spanish history is not sexy. No one has done a series on cable TV about it. For the most part, when dealing with history, it’s always about King Phillip and his dealings with the Tudors or it’s an eye glazing account of the Spanish Inquisition. Gortner breathes life into this chapter of Spanish history. Any subject he touches becomes tangible and real to the reader. You feel as if you personally know these historical figures and you feel all of their emotions as the story plays out.
I honestly didn’t know much about Isabella. I had done some reading on my own about the Spanish Inquisition, her expulsion of the Jewish population in 1492, as well as her support of Christopher Columbus. Most authors I have read (either fiction or non), have made Isabella out to be cold and aloof, especially when her daughter Katherine is mentioned.