Saturday, June 30, 2012

"The Queen’s Vow"

C. W. Gortner, half-Spanish by birth, holds an M.F.A. in writing, with an emphasis on historical studies, from the New College of California and has taught university courses on women of power in the Renaissance. He was raised in Málaga, Spain, and now lives in California.

He applied the Page 69 Test to his new novel, The Queen’s Vow: A Novel of Isabella of Castile, and reported the following:
Page 69 of The Queen’s Vow ends a chapter in which the book’s protagonist, Isabella—the queen who later sent to Columbus to America—is still an embattled princess, caught between vicious intrigue at court and her own resolve to succeed:
If Enrique made a bastard his heir, it would be an affront to his divine right to rule. He would divide the realm ... and invoke chaos. He would invite God’s wrath upon Castile—and upon all of us.

You’re at court now. Here, you must learn to dissemble if you are to survive.

“What shall we do?’ Beatriz whispered and I opened my eyes. She stood with hands clasped, pale with worry. I had to be strong, for her and for Alfonso. I had to see us safe.

“Whatever we must.”
Page 69 is actually quite indicative of the rest of the book. Though powerless in many respects, Isabella is smart enough to see which way the wind has started to blow and decided to take action to protect herself. She’s coming into her own, both as a future ruler and a woman, shedding her naive trust in others to begin to rely on her innate sense of purpose. This page marks the beginning of an extremely dangerous period in Isabella’s life, when circumstances plunged her into accusations of treason and eventually forced her to go to battle for her throne against her half-brother, King Enrique.
Learn more about the book and author at C. W. Gortner's website.

The Page 69 Test: The Last Queen.

--Marshal Zeringue