Thursday, December 26, 2013

Review: Granada Gold



Armageddon falls on my twelfth birthday:
I see my Christian parents conquer Moorish Granada.
I am Juana Trastamara, part-English, heiress of the Alhambra,
and future troubled Queen of Spain.

From SA Carney's website:
Granada Gold is based on the true story of young Juana Trastamara. During the Granada War, she befriends Lord Edmund Sales, commander of the English longbow archers fighting for Christian Spain. In 1492, Juana’s parents – Queen Isabel and King Fernando – defeat the Moors, expel the Jews, and send Columbus sailing across the Atlantic. Juana’s arranged marriage to the womanising Habsburg duke, ‘Phillipe the Handsome’, is a personal disaster. Trapped in an increasingly abusive marriage, Juana has only one place to turn: England. Through Lord Sales, Juana meets Tudor King Henry VII, who falls deeply in love with her. The stage is set for international royal passion, betrayal, and death.



I really liked this fast-paced snapshot into part of the life of Juana "la loca" - or Juana / Joanna the Mad, Queen of Castile as she later became known.


The period covered is from late 1491 and finishes in December 1500.  Our story sees the fall of Granada to the Christian Monarchs - Isabella and Ferdinand; a curse; the expulsion of the Jews; the voyages of Columbus; family tragedy; and the betrothal and marriage of Juana to Philip the Handsome of Burgundy.  And it is from this time in Juana's life (ie: her marriage to Philip) that we begin to see the background to the stories of her madness.

As mentioned, it is a short tale, narrated by Juana that will keep you fascinated with each turn of the page.


For more on Juana / Joanna:
Sister Queens by Julia Fox
Juana the Mad: Sovereignty and Dynasty in Renaissance Europe By Bethany Aram
Juana of Castile: History and Myth of the Mad Queen edited by María A. Gómez
That Other Juana: Queen Juana I of Spain (Juana la Loca) by Linda Carlino
The Last Queen by CW Gortner




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