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Monday, June 29, 2009

Introducing...Marquise of Mischief


aka Amy from Passages to the Past

Hello! I’m Amy and a lot of you know me from Passages to the Past! I am SUPER excited about joining the Royals Reviewers – I jumped right on the chance when I saw Annie’s post and am looking forward to working with all of these lovely ladies!

I chose Marquise of Mischief for my royal name. I like books with action and drama – something that can make me gasp out loud and grab my attention and books with characters that are a bit naughty. I’m also a bit mischievous in real life, albeit the least evilest way possible – more silly than anything.

My genre is historical fiction. That’s all I read these days and I don’t see me switching genres any time soon. I was hooked once I read The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory and the deal was sealed by reading Mary, Queen of Scotland and Isles by Margaret George. My favorite historical fiction authors are Sharon Kay Penman, Elizabeth Chadwick, Jean Plaidy, Michelle Moran, Susan Higginbotham, Georgette Heyer and C.W. Gortner.

I started reviewing historical fiction about a year ago when I began my blog, Passages to the Past. I wanted to create a site for other people to come to for their HF needs, one totally dedicated to the genre. Once my obsession developed, I grew dependent on other reader’s reviews online to help me find new novels to read or new authors to check out and I wanted to provide the same for other HF lovers.

I’d like to thank Annie, Alaine and Teddyree for the opportunity to join the Royal Reviewers! Cheers to the future!

Review - The Last Queen by C.W. Gortner

Genre: Historical

Copyright: 2008

Pages: 350

Rating 5 Crowns

Juana of Castile's life began amidst war, in between Spain's battle with the Moors, and her beginning would prove to be just as stormy as the rest of her life.

Born to the incomparable Isabella I of Castile and Ferdinand II of Aragon, Juana is the third child and second daughter. She is raised on the battlefield with arrows flying overhead and witnesses the fall of Granada in her youth.

When the matter of marriage to Philip of Hapsburg is raised, Juana is not happy at all to have to leave Spain and her family. However, being a good little Princess and understanding how important this is to the country she so loves, she acquiesces herself to the match. Bringing her new husband Philip to the true religion, Catholicism is her ultimate goal.
With the death of her brother, Juan, the heir to the crown and her sister and nephew, Juana is now next in line. A fact that pleases Philip and his rat of an advisor, Besancon, to no end. The tenderness and love Juana and Philip found at the start of their marriage turns sour as the scheming for the throne begins in earnest and poor Juana is caught in the middle of another war - this time between her parents and her husband. Philip scheming for a way to be named heir and her parents adamantly refusing it. Years of this craziness rage on...power struggle after power struggle, drama after drama. Nothing is what it seems and the duplicity is rampant. (Sounds like a lot of Courts we've read of huh!)

Think all this sounds great? I haven't even covered the craziest part....her 46 year imprisonment by not only one but three family members - her husband, her father and her son! And we should also touch on the supposed insanity of Juana, after all she was known as "Mad Juana". C.W. handled this perfectly I felt. To me it's the same old male attitude that still exists today - if a woman stands up for herself, she's labeled a "bitch". A bunch of men who didn't want to be ruled by a another woman decides to just call her crazy and try to lock her up. The reader sees it for what it is - complete fabrication. Yeah, she was emotional, but goodness after you read what she went through who can blame her?! Not I, not Amy!

The Last Queen is the perfect historical fiction novel and I highly recommend it to amateurs and veterans alike. I actually think this would be a GREAT book for someone starting out in historical fiction. Juana is a remarkable woman, fearless and strong and I think it takes a likewise remarkable person to write her story - so thank you C.W., how you write women so well I'll never know, but please don't stop!!


Blodeuedd said...

Welcome :)
This book sure sounds like a good read, I have had my eye on it ever since I first saw it

Amy @ Passages to the Past said...

Thanks Blodeuedd! You'll love The Last Queen I'm sure!

So happy to be here ladies!

The Book Resort said...

Hi, Amy! Congratulations on becoming an amazing Royal Reviewer!

Juana is a remarkable woman!

"...it's the same old male attitude that still exists today - if a woman stands up for herself, she's labeled a "bitch". A bunch of men who didn't want to be ruled by a another woman decides to just call her crazy and try to lock her up." Well said, Amy!

Awesome review & what an amazing woman Juana was!

Amanda said...

Congratulations on joining the Royal Reviews! I love your other blog and am glad to see you'll be posting on this one too. I love your name...very cool. Thanks for the review!

Kate said...

This sounds like a great read. Nice review Amy!

Teddyree said...

Glad you've joined our Royal Family, I think Passages to the Past was the first place I saw The Last Queen reviewed and I finally pick it up from the library this week. YAY can't wait.

Ms. Lucy said...

I love it! You look like a true princess...right in your element. I'm now going to follow you here too, Madame la Marquise.

Mandi said...

I love the name you chose:)

This book sounds really good...might have to put it on my wish list:)

Teddy Rose said...

Welcome Amy! This should be a good fit for you. Now I can see you in two places.