Friday, June 29, 2012

Book Beginnings & Friday 56: The Queen's Vow

Book Beginnings on Fridays is a meme hosted by Rose City Reader.  The object is to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires.

Friday 56 is hosted by Freda's Voice - Turn to page 56, pick a sentence, and post it.  Simple as that!!!  
Publisher:  Random House Publishing Group
Publication Date:  June 12th 2012
ISBN:  0345523962
Genre:  Historical Fiction

Book 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.
The Beginning:
No one believed I was destined for greatness.  I came into the world in the Castilian township of Madrigal de las Altas Torres, the first child of my father, Juan II's marriage to his second wife, Isabel of Portugal, after whom I was named - an infanta, healthy and unusually quiet, whose arrival was heralded by bells and perfunctory congratulations but no fanfare.
My First Impression:
I have been so excited to read this book!  I absolutely love historical fiction!  The cover is so gorgeous, and the beginning builds some intrigue.  I don't think I will be disappointed!  I have heard so many rave reviews about this book!!!
Friday 56:
Carrillo approached us and told Beatriz to step aside.  He took me to the dais.  The courtiers drew back, staring at me for what seemed an impossibly long moment before heads lowered in deference.


  1. I'm so excited about this book!! So want to read it! Hope you like it!

  2. I can't get over that stunning gown on the cover! Great 56 too!


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