Life long compulsive reader & lover of recorded books
I did not read the print version of this audiobook. I found it extremely entertaining in its recorded form. This book is in the best tradition of Allison Weir, well written, well researched and exciting reading to boot!
This is the historically accurate account (that reads like a novel) of the life of Catherine of Aragon and Juana la Loca, both daughters of Isabel and Fernando, the Spanish monarchs that financed Christopher Columbus' travels. Both women had very exciting and interesting (if ultimately unhappy lives). This book would be good reading for the many passionate Tudor fans out there who may want to learn who the first wife of Henry VIII really was and what she really looked like.
Many of the fictionalized accounts out there fail to mention that Catherine was a very well educated woman, politically savvy and prepared to reign by her mother, a regnant queen who went on the battlefield against the moors (this may help to explain why Catherine later in her life clung so tenaciously but unwisely to her role as Henry's Queen); Catherine acted as regent when Henry went to war with the French and it was under her regency that the Battle of Flooden was won by the English (King James of Scotland was killed in that battle - Catherine wanted to send his severed head to Henry as a war trophy but chose the Scotish King's bloody jacket instead) . Less crucial but still very interesting, Catherine had reddish blonde hair and blue eyes and not the dark hair and eyes that she frequently appears with on the movies and tv and which are commonly associated with her Spanish heritage.
As mentioned previously, this books brings to mind the non-fiction work authored by Allison Weir. This is the best way possible to learn history...by being entertained.
Rosalyn Landor gives a flawless narration.
Sister Queens is the perfect title for this book and would be an excellent title for any film that may come out of it.
I love historical fiction, and in particular anything having to do with the Plantagenets and the Tudors, in that order. When I cannot get my fix of good historical fiction, I resort to non-fiction (which sometimes can be rather dry). I am very glad I purchased this non-fiction offering. The life of these two women had more adventure and heartache than that of any character anybody could imagine. It is interesting to muse what would have happened if Juana (Catherine's high spirited, beautiful older sister who married Phillip the Fair of Burgundy, gave him 6 children among which there were at least 2 sons and became a widow relatively early in life) would have married Henry VIII instead. His quest for a son might have been satisfied early on and he might not have needed to marry 6 times. On the other hand, if iron willed Catherine would have married Phillip and gone on to inherit the Spanish crown, she would have certainly not allowed her father and and later her son to keep her prisoner in a castle most of her life in order to usurp her throne.
This is a great audio book!
You sometimes think that being a queen was the best option in the 16th century, but after learnig about the lifes of these two queens, you can be sure that their lifes were as unhappy as anyone struggling for survival
It's very well documented, and reveals facts that have been misbelieved for so long, such as the madness of Juana I de Castilla
Very nice pronunciation, easy to understand for a non-native. Well performanced
The realization that a magnificent woman such as Juana I was incarcerated so unfairly.
The story of the lives of these two sisters can be appreciated even by those who are not overly fond of history. This book recounts the private lives of the sisters and only addresses the political details, "the boring bits"as I tend to call them, for much needed context. It is very much focused on their own personal lives, their actions and speculates tantalizingly on their feelings as joy and tragedy touched them.
This was an interesting and informative account of the Queens. Its a great beginning book to what could be a great saga
Did not care for the narrators voice
Followup would be delightful.
What a captivating audiobook. I have always admired Katherine of Aragon, but I never became interested in Spanish royalty until I read (listened) this novel. It is amazing to me that two young, educated queens could be so betrayed and taken advantage of by then men in their lives with a strong mother like Isabella of Castille. But the book thoroughly fleshes out the issues with their lives and attempts to give them a voice from the grave.
This book presented a different perspective on Juana, and offered new information. Would recommend to any history buffs.