Title: The Tapestry (Joanna Stafford #3)
Author: Nancy Bilyeau
Publisher: Touchstone (Simon & Schuster)
US Release Date: March 24, 2015
UK Release Date: April 24, 2015
Acquired Via: Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours
The next page-turner in the award-winning Joanna Stafford series takes place in the heart of the Tudor court, as the gutsy former novice risks everything to defy the most powerful men of her era.
After her priory in Dartford is closed—collateral damage in tyrannical King Henry VIII’s quest to overthrow the Catholic Church—Joanna resolves to live a quiet and honorable life weaving tapestries, shunning dangerous quests and conspiracies. Until she is summoned to Whitehall Palace, where her tapestry weaving has drawn the King’s attention.
Joanna is uncomfortable serving the King whom she has twice attempted to overthrow—unbeknownst to him. She fears for her life in a court bursting with hidden agendas and a casual disregard for the virtues she holds dear. And her suspicions are confirmed when an assassin attempts to kill her moments after arriving at Whitehall.
Struggling to stay ahead of her most formidable enemy yet, an unknown one, she becomes entangled in dangerous court politics. Her dear friend Catherine Howard is rumored to be one of the King’s mistresses. Joanna is determined to protect young, beautiful, naïve Catherine from becoming the King’s next wife and possibly, victim.
Set in a world of royal banquets and feasts, tournament jousts, ship voyages, and Tower Hill executions, this thrilling tale finds Joanna in her most dangerous situation yet, as she attempts to decide the life she wants to live: nun or wife, spy or subject, rebel or courtier. Joanna must finally choose her fate.
Praise for the Joanna Stafford Series
“Illuminated by Bilyeau’s vivid prose, minor players of Tudor England emerge from the shadows.” —Kirkus Reviews
“In The Tapestry, Nancy Bilyeau brilliantly captures both the white-hot religious passions and the brutal politics of Tudor England. It is a rare book that does both so well.” —Sam Thomas, author of The Midwife’s Tale
“In spite of murderous plots, volatile kings, and a divided heart, Joanna Stafford manages to stay true to her noble character. Fans of Ken Follett will devour Nancy Bilyeau’s novel of political treachery and courageous love, set amid the endlessly fascinating Tudor landscape.” —Erika Robuck, author of Hemingway’s Girl
“These aren’t your mother’s nuns! Nancy Bilyeau has done it again, giving us a compelling and wonderfully realized portrait of Tudor life in all its complexity and wonder. A nun, a tapestry, a page-turning tale of suspense: this is historical mystery at its finest.” —Bruce Holsinger, author of A Burnable Book and The Invention of Fire
“A supremely deft, clever and pacy entertainment. This is Nancy Bilyeau’s most thrilling—and enlightening—novel in the Joanna Stafford series yet.” —Andrew Pyper, author of The Demonologist and The Damned
“A master of atmosphere, Nancy Bilyeau imbues her novel with a sense of dread and oppression lurking behind the royal glamour; in her descriptions and characterizations… Bilyeau breathes life into history.” —Laura Andersen, author of The Boleyn King
"Nancy Bilyeau's passion for history infuses her books and transports us back to the dangerous world of Tudor England. Vivid characters and gripping plots are at the heart of this wonderful trilogy, and this third book will not fail to thrill readers. Warmly recommended!" —Bestselling author Alison Weir
I've always been utterly fascinated by anything to do with the Tudors, so there was no way that I could pass up the opportunity to read Nancy Bilyeau's The Tapestry. My favorite books related to this era are generally based on characters that are not necessarily a Tudor themselves, and I really liked Joanna Stafford.
I meant to read the first two books in the series and forgot until right before time to read The Tapestry, but the writing and adventure was engrossing enough that I was able to just go with it. I mean, it really takes off from the very beginning, and I'm familiar enough with the era from the English and European continent standpoint that I was happy enough to be a bystander and watch how the events of the novel unfolded. Joanna is a gutsy girl, which is a rare and delectable find in the historical fiction that I've read.
I know that there was a lot that I missed out on by not reading the first two books in Joanna Stafford series, The Crown and The Chalice, but I liked the character Joanna and Bilyeau's writing enough that I'm going back and reading them very soon. This way, when I revisit The Tapestry, I'll have a lot more character history.
If you're a fan of historical fiction, you should definitely give Nancy Bilyeau's books a try. If The Tapestry was this good coming into the story at the end, I can't imagine how wonderful it would have been having read the others.
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About the Author
Nancy Bilyeau has worked on the staffs of InStyle, Rolling Stone, Entertainment Weekly, and Ladies Home Journal. She is currently the executive editor of DuJour magazine. Her screenplays have placed in several prominent industry competitions. Two scripts reached the semi-finalist round of the Nicholl Fellowships of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences. Her screenplay “Zenobia” placed with the American Zoetrope competition, and “Loving Marys” reached the finalist stage of Scriptapalooza. A native of the Midwest, she earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan. The Crown, her first novel, was published in 2012; the sequel, The Chalice, followed in 2013. The Tapestry will be released in March 2015.
Nancy lives in New York City with her husband and two children. Stay in touch with her on Twitter at @tudorscribe. For more information or to sign up for Nancy’s Newsletter please visit her official website.
Blog Tour Schedule
Review at Peeking Between the Pages
Review & Interview at Words and Peace
Tuesday, March 17th
Review at A Bookish Affair
Review at The Eclectic Reader
Review at Let Them Read Books
Wednesday, March 18th
Review at Writing the Renaissance
Review at Oh, For the Hook of a Book
Thursday, March 19th
Review at A Book Geek
Review & Interview at Tea at Trianon
Interview at Writing the Renaissance
Friday, March 20th
Review at Impressions in Ink
Monday, March 23rd
Review at CelticLady’s Reviews
Review at Flashlight Commentary
Tuesday, March 24th
Review at The Lit Bitch
Review at Broken Teepee
Wednesday, March 25th
Review at Luxury Reading
Guest Post at Oh, For the Hook of a Book
Thursday, March 26th
Review at She Reads Novels
Friday, March 27th
Review at 100 Pages a Day – Stephanie’s Book Reviews
Tuesday, March 31st
Guest Post at Bibliophilia, Please
Wednesday, April 1st
Review at Library of Clean Reads
Interview at Oh, For the Hook of a Book
Thursday, April 2nd
Review at Ageless Pages Reviews
Friday, April 3rd
Review at Layered Pages
Review & Guest Post at Always With a Book
Monday, April 6th
Review at Broken Teepee
Thursday, April 9th
Review at Bibliophilia, Please
Friday, April 10th
Review at The True Book Addict
To satisfy FTC guidelines, I am disclosing that I received a copy of the novel from the publisher through Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours in exchange for an unbiased review. It has in no way affected the outcome. All expressed opinions are awesome, honest, and courtesy of me.