Monday, August 15, 2011

Reign of Madness by Lynn Cullen

Juana of Castile, third child of the Spanish monarchs Isabel and Fernando, grows up with no hope of inheriting her parents' crowns, but as a princess knows her duty: to further her family's ambitions through marriage. Yet stories of courtly love, and of her parents' own legendary romance, surround her. When she weds the Duke of Burgundy, a young man so beautiful that he is known as Philippe the Handsome, she dares to hope that she might have both love and crowns. He is caring, charming, and attracted to her-seemingly a perfect husband. But what begins like a fairy tale ends quite differently. When Queen Isabel dies, the crowns of Spain unexpectedly pass down to Juana, leaving her husband and her father hungering for the throne. Rumors fly that the young Queen has gone mad, driven insane by possessiveness. Who is to be believed? The King, beloved by his subjects? Or the Queen, unseen and unknown by her people?

First of all, I did not write that summary, I was afraid if I did I would give something away. Reading books like this always make me realize that if I had been born in this time period I would have most likely been beheaded very soon because I would not have been able to hold my tongue. I felt so sorry for Juana, and oh how I hated Phillipe. As soon as his name turned up on a page, I could feel my blood pressure rise a little. Another great historical fiction read by someone who is becoming one of my favorite historical fiction authors. Can't wait to read more by this author.

4 stars

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