I am Catalina, Princess of Spain, daughter of the two greatest monarchs the world has ever known...and I will be Queen of England.
-Philippa Gregory The Constant Princess
Many books are published on the famous Anne Boleyn, second wife of Henry IIIX, mother of Queen Elizabeth I.
But not many are written (in historical fiction format) about the first wife of King Henry, Katherine of Aragon, whose daughter Mary (or bloody Mary) would also be queen of England.
Katherine, or Catalina, learns from her mother, Queen Isabella of Spain, that she must always be a princess-that she must always be strong and do God's will.
A devout Catholic, Catalina intends to do just that when she marries Prince Arthur of Wales, a marriage that had been planned for her since birth. But she is shocked when Prince Arthur, a boy she has grown to love in a very short time, dies tragically, leaving her in a foreign country, alone, and impoverished. And Queen Isabella has told her that she must stay in England, she cannot come home. She must find a way to become queen of England. But that can only be achieved by a lie, something that Catalina knows is wrong.
I really loved this book for several reasons: first, because it's a great love story between Catalina and Arthur, and second because Catalina seems just so real, and thrid because it has to do with the Tudor family (which is of a lot of interest to me).
Philippa Gregory is a very good author and it was interesting to me to see how she percieved, as an adult, being a teenager in the fourteen hundreds.
And having Queen Isabella of Spain as your mother (just imagine!).
The only things about it that irked me were some inapropriate passages (Philippa takes the cake for these). But they are very easily skipped.
Also, at the end there seems to be a lot of confusion about Christianity, Judaism, and Muslims.
Though the author makes it clear that by this she was trying to interject her views on the support of world peace. I'd recommend this book to any mature person who enjoys historical fiction.