As part of the Historical Fiction Virtual Boook Tours,
I read and thoroughly enjoyed, THE CHALICE, by Nancy Bilyeau
Just when I thought it would be a long while before I'd read another Tudor period novel- here comes Bilyeau's THE CHALICE to remind me that when the writing is exceptional, excitement brings about novelty.
Joanna Stattford, a Catholic novice is stripped of her title and her right to practice her faith under Henry VIII's new religious regime which eliminated and banned Catholic monasteries and places of worship. Forced back into her life as a noble by birth and placed in the service of Katherine of Aragon, Joanna also befriends Lady Mary. The setup is perfect for plans to use Joanna as pawn to rid the abominable king and bring back the original Faith.
This is a riveting mystery that weaves in impeccable history at a time when conspiracies, plots and betrayals were the norm - no place in King Henry's court was safe. Joanna must complete the seeings of three psychics to achieve what is in the plans for her to help save Christendom. Joanna lives a life of suspense where clairvoyants, spies, politics and religion fill her days. These are dangerous times...Deeply implicated, how far will Joanna play along to save her loved ones?
Besides the mystery, Joanna must also make a choice in love...there are two men in her life (as if she hadn't enough to deal with already!). Love, friends, enemies-THE CHALICE has it all. Who would have thought a nun's life could get this complicated...and dramatic? I enjoyed this book immensely! And although I didn't always agree with Joanna's choices, she did stay true to herself; which made the character and situations all that more plausible.
A definite page-turner that you will not be able to put down until the very last page...and then you'll be craving Bilyeau's next book for sure. This is by far one of the best Tudor fictions I've read in awhile.
(THE CHALICE is the sequel to THE CROWN. But if you haven't read the first one, no worries- THE CHALICE is a perfect standalone read as Bilyeau familiarizes us with the prequel without drowning us with an overload of back and forth info).
To read more reviews and interviews on THE CHALICE- You can find the Virtual Book Tour Schedule HERE
ONE COPY TO A LUCKY READER! US only.
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