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A passive Plaidy read.
Daughters of Spain - Jean Plaidy
Member Name: blackviolets
Daughters of Spain - Jean Plaidy
Advantages: gives details into lives of all of the children of Isabella & Ferdinand
Disadvantages: very slow in places, not a lot happening,
I'm quite pleased with my library at the moment. For the past few years there has been a severe lack of Jean Plaidy books on the shelves. The ones which were available were ones I'd already read and no new stories were arriving. However over the past week or so I've spotted brand new novels to keep me fully entertained.
It always used to be the Anne Boleyn tale which has kept me wanting to read more novels on her. Although after such a long time of continually reading up on her it has become a little tiresome, there's only so much talk of her and her brothers bedroom antics that one person can take. Hence the reason why Katherine of Aragon has grabbed my attention.
The youngest daughter of Isabella Queen of Castile and Ferdinand King of Aragorn is still just a little girl, watching as her brother and sisters leave Spain to become married. Much to their Mothers despair but their Fathers delight as each wedding brings alliances, power and possible heirs. There seems to be some kind of curse on the household though as a multitude of deaths occur in the family. All the more distressing to Queen Isabella who loves her children dearly. None cause her more concern though than Juana, whose wild ways are very similar to her Grandmothers. A wildness which increasingly resembles madness.
This is a bit of a mixed book. In that in some places it can really grab your attention but in others make you want to pack in it. There are large sections involving Ximenes. A man who was made Archbishop of Toledo by the Queen, much to Ferdinands displeasure. The new Archbishop has very different views and ideas as to how to turn the people of Spain into Christians. Although I think this has to be mentioned as it does play a part in the lives of the possible heirs to the throne. I just think there was too much of it.
I picked this book up to read about Catalina, soon to be known as the Queen of England. This was another factor which I felt was really lacking in. Whenever she is mentioned it is about her not wanting to leave Spain. This might fill up a page or two and then nothing aside from the occasional complaint is mentioned. As it is called Daughters of Spain and not just Daughter I should of picked up on the fact that it would feature her other siblings as well.
The basis of this plot is to do with marriage and loss and this was not what I was expecting. I've always been reminded that Isabella is a very strong woman although in this novel she comes across as being quite weak. I am putting this down to the fact that her children are leaving but it would have been nice to read about her strong spirit as well.
In total there is 311 pages but this wasn't an easy read. It is spread out to cover each of the childrens lives however Catalina is hardly mentioned and is somewhat pushed into the background despite her importance. Juana gets the most attention and everything in between is quite bland.
Dare I say it but I found this to be quite a boring book and isn't one I'm likely to read again. It wasn't up to the usual Jean Plaidy standard, yet I don't know if this was because it wasn't a particular enthralling time. Or maybe it's just because I'm used to historical novels which feature scandal, battle scenes and acts of treason. Either way I don't think it was my favourite sort of reading material and it is most definitely more family based.
It would cost you £7.99 from bookshops or you could buy it on Amazon for £5.99. Personally I think if you want a Jean Plaidy novel to involve lots of action and to be full of different goings on then this might not be something you'd enjoy.
Overall a disappointing read.