History from around the globe is replete with the actions of male monarchs. What is less known and thereby perhaps more fascinating are the lives of the female rulers. In her book, Isabella: The Warrior Queen, Kirsten Downey explores the life of one such woman. While most of us know Isabella for her role in financing Christopher Columbus’ journey to the New World, that detail alone is an incomplete picture of who she is and how she came to power. This book seeks to give a full account of her life but often reads more like an adventure novel than a biography. The characters of history are colorfully described complete with flaws and foibles common among mankind.
In the last century, women’s rights have advanced significantly in many parts of the world. But in Isabella’s