I encourage any one who loves historical fiction to read this absorbing novel. I realize that I read this novel before I started my blog and had not posted a review on it. I need to bring it to light for my readers because it is one of my most favorite novels in historical fiction. It left a lasting impression on me, and it is an unforgettable read.
Juana is the daughter of Isabella I of Castile and Ferdinand II of Aragon. Together her parents laid the foundation for the political unification of Spain. Joanna of Castile was more commonly referred to as Juana the Mad, Queen of Castile, Leon, and Queen of Aragon. She was the older sister of Catherine of Aragon who married the notorious king Henry VIII which we all know what that led to.
Since this was my first read on Spain I had no idea what to expect. I instantly became absorbed in the world C.W. painted. Portraying what it was like for a child to be born into a time of war. Not to mention her mothers unwavering faith was kind of creepy considering I have heard that she believed she was god's messenger. Upon conquering the Moor's they made triumphant entry to Granada. The harems women knew there was no salvation for them and jumped to their deaths on the rocks below was only the beginning of worse to come. The Alhambra was a place that offered peace and tranquility for Juana in her younger years. A safe haven that was more beautiful than imaginable.
Looking back on this which I find myself doing quite frequently. Empathy is the underlining emotion. She was never expected to be queen. Fate played a cruel joke on Juana. After starting a new life abroad with her husband Philip the fair. She was called back home to be queen after the loss of her two elder siblings and later her mother. She was a loving woman to her husband and her family. But the bloody lust for a crown could devourer any willing soul including her own husband. After her mothers death she became vulnerable. Her father and husband took advantage of it and would ultimately place her in perilous situations that would have broken any other weaker minded person.
The question C.W. logically purposes is what if she was not the mad queen but the queen no body wanted? Was she really mad or would they try and break her? Claiming mental illness leaving the crown vacant for themselves. Or was it duress from her circumstances?
5/5 Muses and if I had six muses it would be 6 instead. Highly recommended reading. C.W. gave logic and reasoning in what others might claim is madness. I can usually judge how much I love the book by how long it takes me to finish it. This goes with Signora Da Vinci, a two day read where it is so good that you do not want to sleep. Thank you C.W. for the novel, like I said "Someone would have to pry it from my cold dead hand before I would ever give it up". It means that much to me.