Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Review & Virtual Book Tour: The Queen's Vow By C.W. Gortner

Publication Date: July 2, 2013
Ballantine Books
Paperback; 416p
ISBN-13: 9780345523976
The Queen's Vow: A Novel of Isabella of Castile

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.

About the Author
C.W. Gortner is the author of The Last Queen, The Confessions of Catherine de Medici, The Tudor Secret and The Queen's Vow. He holds an MFA in Writing with an emphasis on Renaissance Studies from the New College of California. In his extensive travels to research his books, he has experienced life in a Spanish castle and danced a galliard in a Tudor great hall. Half-Spanish by birth, he lives in Northern California.
You can find more information on C.W. Gortner's website and blog. You can also follow him on Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads.

My Review:
In The Queen's Vow, C.W. Gortner remarkably brings to light the life of Isabella of Castile.  This is everything I could possibly want from a Historical Fiction novel: tremendous historical details, extremely well-developed characters, and an intriguing plot filled with unexpected twists and turns that made it difficult to put down.  As a fan of historical fiction, it was so refreshing to read on a subject matter that hasn't been written quite nearly often enough.  Isabella is certainly one of the most fascinating Queen's in history and I commend Gortner for his incredible amount of research and historical accuracy that he has put forth in order to capture the essence of Isabella and this fascinating period in time.  I immediately felt as though I was swept away to another time and another place.  I'm completely amazed with this very talented author and I would highly recommend him to any fan of historical fiction...or to any reader for that matter.  I look forward to reading more from Gortner in the very near future with his upcoming release of The Tudor Conspiracy later this month. I can quite easily give The Queen's Vow FIVE stars!

Please be sure to stop by Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours for a complete schedule of participating blogs and tour dates for The Queen's Vow.  And, a big thank you to Amy at HFVBT for this review opportunity and introducing me to this remarkable author!


  1. Thank you so much for hosting me on my blog tour and for your lovely review. I'm delighted to be here and hope your readers enjoy the book!

  2. After I read this historical novel of Queen Isabella I realized I knew nothing of the most important events that shaped Europe and the United States. I became virtually and pleasantly lost in the adventures of the last warrior Queen Mother of Europe and her offspring who would inherit the power and commitment of royal families. It was just the beginning. Now I'm hooked on C.W. Gortner's feel-like-you-are-there adventures! Thanks and keep them coming!