21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
Passionate and uncompromising historical fiction,
This review is from: The Last Queen: A Novel of Juana La Loca (Paperback)
From the opening line: "Midnight has become my favorite hour," you know you are in the hands of a master storyteller, one who has turned the tables on popular history to present an erudite and compassionate view of one of history's most difficult personages.
Known as the Mad Queen, in her own words Juana of Castile tells the story of her life, and what a life it is - filled with passion, intrigue, and terrifying betrayal. To my relief, I found Juana to be neither self-pitying nor morbid. In her candor and wit, Juana demonstrates a singular humanity that highlights the ruthlessness of her 16th century world. She is a brave and decisive woman, far removed from the "victim" that she has so often been portrayed. Readers who known about her from films like "Mad Love" will be intrigued by Gortner's deft handling of her mental state, and surprised by her own secret admissions.
This is a refreshingly vivid and well crafted example of historical fiction that does not compromise, from a writer who obviously cares both for his subject and for the intelligence of his readers.