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Download The Queen’s Vow: A Novel of Isabella of Castile Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Queen’s Vow: A Novel of Isabella of Castile Audiobook, by C. W. Gortner Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,366 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: C. W. Gortner Narrator: Rosalyn Landor Publisher: Blackstone Publishing Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: June 2012 ISBN: 9781470806378
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“No one believed I was destined for greatness.”
So begins Isabella’s story, in this evocative, vividly imagined novel about one of history’s most famous and controversial queens—the warrior who united a fractured country, the champion of the faith whose reign gave rise to the Inquisition, and the visionary who sent Columbus to discover a new world. Acclaimed author C. W. Gortner envisages the turbulent early years of a woman whose mythic rise to power would go on to transform a monarchy, a nation, and the world.
Young Isabella is barely a teenager when she and her brother are taken from their mother’s home to live under the watchful eye of their half-brother, King Enrique, and his sultry, conniving queen. There Isabella is thrust into danger when she becomes an unwitting pawn in a plot to dethrone Enrique. Suspected of treason and held captive, she treads a perilous path, torn between loyalties, until at age seventeen she suddenly finds herself heiress of Castile, the largest kingdom in Spain. Plunged into a deadly conflict to secure her crown, she is determined to wed the one man she loves yet who is forbidden to her—Fernando, prince of Aragon.
As they unite their two realms under “one crown, one country, one faith,” Isabella and Fernando face an impoverished Spain beset by enemies. With the future of her throne at stake, Isabella resists the zealous demands of the inquisitor Torquemada even as she is seduced by the dreams of an enigmatic navigator named Columbus. But when the Moors of the southern domain of Granada declare war, a violent, treacherous battle against an ancient adversary erupts—one that will test all of Isabella’s resolve, her courage, and her tenacious belief in her destiny.
From the glorious palaces of Segovia to the battlefields of Granada and the intrigue-laden gardens of Seville, The Queen’s Vow sweeps us into the tumultuous forging of a nation and the complex, fascinating heart of the woman who overcame all odds to become Isabella of Castile.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A beautifully crafted piece of historical fiction…Gortner’s vivid details blend with his deeply intensive research to recreate Isabella and Castile in a way that the reader will find compelling and immersive, bringing not just the queen but the whole nation to life. The fear, joy, and anguish of the story all come together with a beauty and passion that can’t be found anywhere in the pages of history books.”

    RT Book Reviews (4 ½ stars)

  • “Isabella is most often remembered as the queen who financed Christopher Columbus’ voyage to the Americas, but in this vivid novel, Gortner reveals that she is much more than this. She is an inspiring young woman who bravely faced the turmoil that surrounded her and managed to hold on to her crown…Gortner has again produced a richly detailed book that is hard to put down.”

    Historical Novels Review

  • “Gortner pays particular attention to the religious issues Isabella confronted, portraying her as a complex figure…Gortner’s latest historical novel should have strong appeal for historical fiction fans.”

    Library Journal

  • “Gortner avoids romanticizing and sentimentalizing and presents a believable account of a woman determined to control her own fate and shape Spain into a great country.”


  • “Gortner vividly recreates the turmoil of Isabella’s youth and the striking contrasts of the country she knew…Though The Queen’s Vow doesn’t shy away from the terrible decisions she chooses to make, it reminds us that in the end, Isabella was human, a woman of conviction and strength in a time of upheaval, who forged her destiny despite every odd, to become Spain’s most beloved queen.”

    Michelle Moran, author of The Heretic Queen

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Michelle | 2/6/2014

    " An interesting story of Isabella of Castile. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Anam | 2/1/2014

    " Such a huge disappointment! Considering his book " The last Queen" was very mesmerizing, I thought that this would evoke the same feeling in me. I was wrong! For one thing Isabelle seemed like a sheep and not a queen in her own right. She used people and had no conscious- when it came to the Jews and other issues within her realm. Constantly her faith was used as a shield to ignore certain plights of her people. I had no connection with her as a character and it was just a narrative of facts. I would have preferred more information of the Inquisition and what steps were implemented to investigate the conversos. All she constantly thinks about is what her husband Fredanardo would think or say. Most her decisions are based accordingly. Considering that her monarchy crowned actually queens seeing a spine would have been nice!! The ending was abrupt and didn't make sense either. It was a grueling task to finish the book. I didn't enjoy it!! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Alicia Carlsen | 1/30/2014

    " An interesting fictional read of Queen Isabella of Spain up to the discovery of America by Christopher Columbus. A great example of why church and state should be separated with the Spanish Inquisition. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ana | 1/8/2014

    " Fascinating read... since the very beginning to the end, Isabella of Castille was ahead of her time. What a vibrant personality! At school I learned only her name along with Christopher Colombus, but in the book she was much more than that, a warrior queen, she became "mia luna " as well. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Susan | 1/3/2014

    " first 3 chapters dragged, then it turned, Interesting! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Erika | 12/31/2013

    " I love it when I can read and learn something new at the same time. I have never read much about the Spanish monarchy, and I find Isabella of Castile very interesting. Definitely going to pass this to friends and/or family. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jaymie | 12/15/2013

    " This book is beautifully written. C.W. Gortner has a flair for writing that brings characters to life and makes the imagery pop off the page. This is the type of book that as you near the end, you'll start reading slower so that it takes longer to read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jessica Larson-Wang | 11/21/2013

    " The first half of this book was great, but the second half was a bit slow. I'm was also a bit uncomfortable with the portrayal of the Inquisition -- not that Gortner condoned it or anything of the sort, but that Queen Isabella's role in it was perhaps downplayed a bit too much. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sallyann Van leeuwen | 11/13/2013

    " Mmmmm not one of my favorites. I felt as though I was being dictated a story, rather than feeling it. Isabella is an amazing historical figure, yet even after finishing the book I don't feel any the wiser. Maybe I just wasn't in the mood for this? "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Aga | 7/24/2013

    " Inconsistent and shallow, I am sorry to say. If one has read Starkey or P. Gregory (fiction), this book will be a huge disappointment. I kept reading to let the author prove me wrong, but the more I read the more boring the book was becoming. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Samantha | 6/20/2013

    " Fascinating book. Later learned this was Isabella who started the Spanish Inquisition. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sharyn | 4/23/2013

    " Fictional historical biography of Spain's queen who sent Columbus on his journey. Great insight into the politics of royal families in the 1400s. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Toddy | 12/18/2012

    " Loved it, learned so much, and look forward to reading The Last Queen. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rosie | 11/26/2012

    " Maybe I'm just not in a historical fiction mood lately but this one was just ok. I mean I read it, it was an easy read but nothing I couldn't put down. Meh. "

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About the Author

C. W. Gortner is an American author of historical fiction novels, including the acclaimed The Last Queen and The Confessions of Catherine de Medici, as well as three historical mystery in the Spymaster Chronicles series. He holds an MFA in writing with an emphasis in Renaissance studies from the New College of California. In his extensive travels to research his books, he has danced a galliard in a Tudor great hall and experienced life in a medieval Spanish castle. He is also a dedicated advocate for animal rights and environmental issues. Half Spanish by birth and raised in southern Sprain, he now lives in Northern California.

About the Narrator

Rosalyn Landor has won twelve AudioFile Earphones Awards and been a finalist for the Audie Award. She has worked as an actor since the age of seven, both in Europe and the United States. Her extensive list of credits includes leading roles in film, theater, and audio productions, as well as in various miniseries on all the major television networks and in such productions as Masterpiece Theatre’s Sherlock Holmes and Rumpole of the Bailey.