Smart, nicely written and well-done history of Isabella. The novel begins with a very young Isabella right after her father's death. The telling of her mother's impending madness was spot on. We follow Isabella's history to the beginning of her marriage with Ferdinand and the birth of their first child. Very reminiscent of the struggles of Queen Victoria as a child - plotting and backstabbing all around. It is amazing that these women survive childhood to become rulers of their prospective countries. Will be reading the next two follow up volumes in short order.