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Mar 7, 2009

"Castile for Isabella" by Jean Plaidy | Review Part Two

Review Part Two
(Here are my thoughts from Part One)
Now that I've officially finished "Castile", I wanted to get the quick final review in. I mentioned most of the plot in the earlier post, and it continues with the focus on Isabella and ends when she finally manages to obtain the throne of Castile. As with most books dealing with crowns and disunity, there were several opposing forces at work trying to achieve their own status or prominence via their proximity to the crown, which was the plot for the book. Isabella stays true to herself and her upbringing and does not let others persuade her into an otherwise unhealthy alliance with anyone but her betrothed, Ferdinand. What were interesting were the characters surrounding Isabella, and the myriad of unworthy people prying their way into Isabella's life. She has an unstable mother, a younger brother who is docile and loving, and an older brother who is King of Castile but who is pretty much useless in all ways.

Plaidy stays the course in this novel and is not as gripping as some of her other novels, yet Isabella as a young girl is not all that extraordinary, yet rather pious (her nickname is Isabella the Catholic). The character of Isabella is that of practically a saint, and her main focus is her betrothal and her vision of the alliance of Castile and Aragon. It will be interesting to see how Ferdinand and Isabella strategize for power both in state matters and marriage with the next novel of the trilogy. I'll give this one 3.5 stars.