The Trastámara Series is historical fiction, set in 14th century Spain, and is liberally classified as a series. Each book has a new protagonist, though they all take place in the Trastámara Dynasty (which gave us Isabella the Catholic and Katherine of Aragon), and each can be read as a stand-alone story, although they do make references to previous events. The first book, LA BASTARDA, follows Constanza Enríquez de Castilla, the illegitimate daughter of Enrique de Trastámara, the bastard-conde-turned-King of Castilla and first Trastámaran king. Constanza was one of his ten (known) illegitimate children, and in his will, he did not name her mother. Not much is definitively known about Constanza herself – she was born around 1360 (probably before), she was engaged to a contender for the Portuguese throne, but he ended up marrying her half-sister and she married his elder brother, and she was most likely deceased by 1400.
LA BASTARDA imagines Constanza as the daughter of Enrique and a young French girl who died during the birth of her daughter. Usually, he would leave his children to be raised in relative obscurity by their mothers, but he had no desire for his child to grow up alone (and possibly fall into the wrong hands). Enrique takes her to his wife and legitimate children, including his heir, Juan, and she is raised alongside them, knowing her father almost from birth, and seeing him more than any other. As the only bastard child to have such an honor, Constanza is in a unique position to show the changes as she moves from place to place, sometimes as part of a triumphant procession, and sometimes as a member of a fleeing band of thieves. Ultimately, her father does prevail, and her life seemingly changes overnight – she is no longer the bastard of a bastard, but a daughter of the King of Castilla, León, y Galiza.
Just a few months after Constanza’s birth, the Queen of Aragón gave birth to her only daughter, named Alionor. Alionor would grow up knowing her royal status (indeed, we know both her birth and death dates, which is unusual for the time period), but despite multiple failed betrothals, she is finally married to el Infante Don Juan, son of King Don Enrique de Castilla, León, y Galiza, and Constanza’s half-brother. When her husband ascends to the throne, Alionor becomes LA REYNA. Though her reign is short, it is important in the scheme of things, and she gives birth to three children – including two sons.
All of my main characters are female, and their positions and experiences each give them a unique perspective on the events that take place during their lives.
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It is also available for a free checkout at the Shelby Area District Library in Shelby, MI, near the Silver Lake Sand Dunes.
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