But what of their third child Juana? What is known about her? This Spanish Princess who would come to be known as Juana the Mad…this woman who once gave brith in a privy chamber. I must admit that before reading this book I knew little of the Spanish royals….with the exception of Catalina. So this book sounded really interesting. Juana, third in line for the throne of a unified Spain was never thought to inherit. She was married to Archduke Philip of Flanders, son and heir to the Holy Roman Emperor. Through a series of tragedies both her brother, her older sister and her nephew all died leaving Juana as heir to the throne. Her life had never been easy but what had come before would serve her well to help her through what was to come. She ended up fighting with her husband, her father, and all the lords of Spain in order to keep her thrown. Her children were taken from her, she was imprisoned, and though told all would be restored to her if she just renounced her crown she never did.
I found Juana to be a fascinating women and loved the portrait that C.W. Gortner painted of her. His writing was well researched and well done. He really brought to life the sights, sounds and smells of 16th Century Spain. I felt that I was Juana as I read this book. I felt everything that she did and even though I knew how the story would end (I admit I googled her before finishing the book) I still hoped that her courage and her strength would prevail and that events would turn out differently. I was engrossed in this story from the first page and I didn’t want it to end. The Last Queen is a story rich in history, prose and informative about a time in history that I didn’t know much about. This is a book that I would highly recommed to anyone who loves stories about royalty and to anyone who loves a good historical story.