Orsolya's Reviews > The Last Queen

The Last Queen by C.W. Gortner
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One word: remarkable. This describes not only "Juana the Mad" herself, but also C.W. Gortner's novel. In all honesty, I find Gortner to be hit-or-miss but The Last Queen is certainly a hit.

In this novel, Gortner not only grasps Juana and her life's turmoils in a smooth and entertaining way, but he also dives deeper into the emotional pool and throws elements of both female and human naturistic struggles and psychological effects into the mix. Was Juana born crazy? Was she driven to that point by her un-loving and often sociopathic husband? Those are questions which are instantly up for debate, although it is obvious that Gortner is of the view that Juana was driven to her "maddness" by her male counterpart.

As a female, it is nearly impossible to not feel for Juana. Her various directions of thought flows which she can't seem to control (hating her husband one second and then traveling around the countryside with his casket the next) is painful and yet so relatable. Within the context of rich, historical research, The Last Queen will slap you in the face with pure amazingness.

The coincidence between Juana and her sister Katherine of Aragon? Both were strong females born to Isabel and Ferdinand and both were unmovable creatures whose love for husbands both passionate and cruel led to the hardest parts of their lives. This can lead to a whole new debate...

A terrific feature of Juana, written in a sparkling way. Absolutely remarkable.
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