From "Erk" to "Ewwwwww!" in 63 pages. I think that may be a record. This book was a $2 special at Big Lots, so I wasn't expecting phenomenal fiction, but I was expecting some decent historial fiction. Instead, what I got was a framing story about a 40 year old man who seduces a 17 year old orphaned convent schoolgirl, dresses her up like his historical obsession, gets her pregnant, imprisons her in his home and eventually dies in a fire after finding out that the aunt with whom he used to commit incest is actually his mother.
The writing is acceptable, although an author with more than five published works should either know or have a translator who knows the difference between "discreet" and "discrete". The saddest thing about this book is that the story of Queen Joanna of Castile, aka Juana the Mad, is a fascinating one, and the telling of her story here is well-done. The framing device wasn't needed, and detracted from the overall quality of the novel.