From Kirkus Reviews: Bristling with palace intrigue, this entry in the Royal Diaries series tells the story of the pious, determined, soon-to-be Queen Isabel of Castilla during a volatile period in history. Known to American children as the royal who sponsored Christopher Columbuss journey to the New World, Isabel had a rocky adolescence. Ripped from her family and banished to Segovia by her half-brother, King Enrique of Castilla, Isabel endured a tedious life. The country was in turmoil; both Enrique and his half- brother Alfonso had claimed the crown. Although the rocky political terrain of what would later become part of Spain is touched upon in Isabels fictionalized diary, the book centers on her marriage prospectsEnrique arranged several matches for his half- sister, based largely on his need to secure power. Wishing to marry Fernando, Prince of Aragon and King of Sicily, Isabel took matters into her own hands, scheming royally until her dream became a reality in 1469. Although the writing is dull and sluggish in spots, Meyer (Mary, Bloody Mary, 1999, etc.) offers a multifaceted portrait of this complicated regal youngster and her tumultuous times, smoothly integrating the themesa passionate belief in Christianity and an interest in navigationthat was central to her reign. Followed by an excellent section of notes and biographical information, this book is sure to whet readers appetites for more. (historical notes, glossary of characters, pronunciation guide, family tree, archival drawings) (Historical fiction. 8-12)
Not a great book, but not a bad one either. The writer doesn't quite bring Isabel to life; the young Princess always seems a bit wooden. But it is interesting if you've had an interest in the intrigues of nobles' lives back in the days of Kings and Queens.
I enjoyed this book - about a historical figure with whom I was not at all familiar.
Wonderful book for girls. My 14 yo daughter thoroughly enjoys this series.
While waiting anxiously for others to choose a husband for her, Isabel, the future Queen of Spain, keeps a diary account of her life as a member of the royal family.
Beautiful hardcover with gold-edged pages.
Ages 10 on up or so.
I'm a huge fan of historical fiction, and I've grown up with the Royal Diaries since I was 12 or 13, so finding and reading one I haven't seen before is guaranteed to be a treat. 'Isabel, Jewel of Castilla' was especially delightful. The plot was exciting and intriguing, and, unlike so many of the other books in this series which have historically accurate but tragic endings, this one actually ends historically accurately AND happily.
This book would be a great way to supplement a study of European history, or just to learn more about the lady who would eventually sponsor Christopher Columbus on his quest to find the West Indies.
The story of Princess Isabel and her growing up and marry Prince Ferdinand without her father's consent.