04 March, 2012

The Crown by Nancy Bilyeau Review and Giveaway

Publication Date: January 10, 2012
Touchstone Publishing


An aristocratic young nun must find a legendary crown in order to save her father—and preserve the Catholic faith from Cromwell’s ruthless terror.  The year is 1537... 

Joanna Stafford, a Dominican nun, learns that her favorite cousin has been condemned by Henry VIII to be burned at the stake. Defying the sacred rule of enclosure, Joanna leaves the priory to stand at her cousin’s side. Arrested for interfering with the king’s justice, Joanna, along with her father, is sent to the Tower of London. 

The ruthless Stephen Gardiner, Bishop of Winchester, takes terrifying steps to force Joanna to agree to spy for him: to save her father’s life she must find an ancient relic—a crown so powerful, it may hold the ability to end the Reformation. Accompanied by two monks, Joanna returns home to Dartford Priory and searches in secret for this long-lost piece of history worn by the Saxon King Athelstan in 937 during the historic battle that first united Britain. 

But Dartford Priory has become a dangerous place, and when more than one dead body is uncovered, Joanna departs with a sensitive young monk, Brother Edmund, to search elsewhere for the legendary crown. From royal castles with tapestry-filled rooms to Stonehenge to Malmesbury Abbey, the final resting place of King Athelstan, Joanna and Brother Edmund must hurry to find the crown if they want to keep Joanna’s father alive. At Malmesbury, secrets of the crown are revealed that bring to light the fates of the Black Prince, Richard the Lionhearted, and Katherine of Aragon’s first husband, Arthur. The crown’s intensity and strength are beyond the earthly realm and it must not fall into the wrong hands. 

With Cromwell’s troops threatening to shutter her priory, bright and bold Joanna must now decide who she can trust with the secret of the crown so that she may save herself, her family, and her sacred way of life. This provocative story melds heart-stopping suspense with historical detail and brings to life the poignant dramas of women and men at a fascinating and critical moment in England’s past.

Tour Schedule:  http://hfvirtualbooktours.blogspot.com/2011/12/nancy-bilyeau-on-tour-for-crown-january.htmlNancy Bilyeau's Website:  http://www.nancybilyeau.com
Nancy Bilyeau on Twitter: @TudorScribe
Link to Book Trailer:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5iGvvxjm8dA
Tour Event Twitter Hashtag:  #TheCrownVirtualBookTour

Author Bio:

Nancy Bilyeau has worked on the staffs of Rolling Stone, Entertainment Weekly, and Good Housekeeping. Most recently, she served as deputy editor at InStyle 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 "Loving Marys" reached the finalist stage with Page International Screenwriting Awards and Scriptapalooza. A native of the Midwest, she earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Michigan. The Crown is her first novel, and she has finished writing the sequel to The Crown, which is called The Chalice.

My Thoughts:
Oh the intrigue!! The Crown by Nancy Bilyeau is a story that takes place in the Tudor era. Henry VIII is still on the throne, his current wife Jane is pregnant and the country is in turmoil due to the demolishing of the churches, abbey's and other religious houses by the kings men led by the infamous Cromwell. Joanna is a novice at Dartford Priory. She finds out her cousin Lady Margaret is to be burned at the stake for treason. Joanna leaves the Priory without permission to be there for her cousin, but along with her father, she is imprisoned in the Tower of London to await her fate. She is there for months and questioned extensively by the  Bishop of Winchester as to the whereabouts of The Crown, a relic which was said to have been a crown of thorns that was worn by King Athelstan , which he believes is hidden at Dartford Priory. He orders Joanna, along with Brother Edmund and Brother Richard, to go back to Dartford Priory to search for the Crown. He claims he will release her father from the Tower when she delivers the information he wants about the Crown. That is when the adventure really begins for Joanna. Joanna is deeply religious and will do what it takes to not only get her father released, but also to do what she can to save the Priory from being destroyed. Henry VIII certainly plays a part in the story but he is not one of the main characters. The research that went into the writing of this novel is extensive and I found the book to be well written. I enjoyed learning about the history of the Crown. In the story there is a lot mentioned about the tapestries that were done by the nuns. The tapestries  are not just beautiful but they tell stories of the times and help with the search for the Crown. I enjoyed the story immensely and give it 5 stars. Highly recommended for the history buff as well as the historical fiction lover.
I received an ecopy of this book and was not monetarily compensated for my review.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Michelle @ The True Book Addict said...

I really enjoyed this book as well. Great review, Kathleen!

Marie Burton said...

Follower (GFC, twitter, FB)
MarieBurton2004 at yahoo dot com

Who I love to hate in the Tudor Era:
(So many choices!)
Jane Boelyn, George's wife.
I think she helped send Anne to her death, and her own husband, out of her jealousy.

Marie Burton said...

tweeted here https://twitter.com/#!/BurtonReview/status/176670409415065602

(Rafflecopter is not accepting entries in its comment space)

Beth said...

Mary, Queen of Scots!

bethsbookreviewblog2 AT gmail DOT com

CelticLady said...

Thanks Marie for letting me know!!

Angela said...

I am a gfc follower (griperang) - I twittered (@griperang0

Thank you for the chance to win

griperang at embarqmail dot com

Carolyn Colley said...

I just don't know the answer to the question, but I do like stories from the old, it's been a long time since I have read a book from then.
thanks for the giveaway

desitheblonde said...

thanks for t he book giveaway i like to win and blog on it and go viral with it

desi the blonde

desi the blonde at msn dot com

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