The Last Queen

  • by C. W. Gortner
  • Narrated by Marguerite Gavin
  • 13 hrs and 25 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

One of history's most enigmatic women tells the haunting, passionate story of her tumultuous life. Juana of Castile is just thirteen when she witnesses the fall of Moorish Granada and the uniting of the fractured kingdoms of Spain under her warrior parents, Isabel and Fernando. Intelligent, beautiful, and proud of her heritage, Juana rebels when she is chosen as a bride for the Hapsburg heir - until she comes face-to-face with Prince Philip the Fair, a man who will bring her the greatest of passions, and the darkest despair.When tragedy decimates Juana's family in Spain, she suddenly finds herself heiress to Castile, a realm prey to scheming lords bent on thwarting her rule. The betrayal of those she loves plunges Juana into a ruthless battle of wills - a struggle of corruption, perfidy, and heart-shattering deceit that could cost her the crown, her freedom, and her very life.


What the Critics Say

"A novel of ravishing power....With compassion and deep respect, Gortner brings Juana la Loca to vivid life." (Malaga Daily)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful


This would have made a somewhat good story if it weren't based on an actual person. Even then, it would be a stretch to find any sympathy for this woman. The author chose to leave out the fact that Juana of Castile was insane, only alluding to a "madness" which was allegedly invented by everyone around her in an effort to take over her throne. She didn't "go mad with grief" as the author contends, but likely suffered from a genetic psychosis which her grandmother also had. Her outrageous jealous rants over her husband are well-documented as was her refusal to allow his body to be buried, instead shlepping his rotting course around the country, sleeping with it in fields at night, with her arms around it, oblivious to the stench. The cruelty of the men closest to her seems to be invented her as a way to justify Juana's bad behaviors. If you just want to read a fairy tale about a haughty, vain Spanish princess who somehow survives in a world where every man in several countries was a total cad, womanizer, abuser, killer, usurper, or schemer, then this is for you. But if you know even one historical fact about Juana, this book will be a confusing mish-mash. Even if this story was totally fiction, then Juana's actions in this book still show her to be unstable, not caring how others are affected by her poorly thought-out escape plans and other ridiculousness. I'm glad I bought this book on sale.
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- Linda Lou "OCD over books, listening to 1 a day; ANY genre, fact & fiction. Influenced by Audible reviewers so I keep mine unbiased - FRONT to BLACK!"

This is a historical "Novel"

Told in the first person, this is a Novel first with historical time lines. It is written and read beautifully. The last queen of Argonne is a story of corruption, betrayal, repression of woman, and abuse of power. There is very little known about Juana, especially because she was not able to assume her rightful place as Queen because of her husband, father, and son. Her children became very powerful, they even her daughters. I wonder what a difference it would have made if Juana were born in a different time, and lived at the same time as Elizabeth I. Would there ever have been a Spanish armada?
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- Bonnie "BJS"

Book Details

  • Release Date: 08-05-2008
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.