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Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Review: The Crown by Nancy Bilyeau

The Crown
by Nancy Bilyeau
Publish Date: January 10, 2012
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Format: e-ARC
Source: Publisher via Netgalley

When a burning is announced, the taverns of Smithfield order extra barrels of ale, but when the person to be executed is a woman and one of noble birth, the ale comes by the cartload.

Sister Joanna Stafford thought she was only going to go be by her cousin's side as she was being executed. She never imagined she would become embroiled in a cat and mouse chase to find the Athelstan crown that is reported to be hidden in her abbey. Having chosen to live the religious life, she never wanted to be part of the deceitful world of the Tudor court. Having no choice but to do what Bishop Gardiner tasks her to do, Joanna heads back to Dartford with her fellow friars to began her search. Each are given a secret task that they must do but in order to free her father, Joanna must discover what the friars are also hiding.

Joanna's character is unique in that even though she wants to lead the religious life, she also wants to know the truth and knows that not all things can be the work of the Lord. She is very intelligent and able to piece all the clues together. The back story of King Athelstan and history of the crown adds to an unique aspect to the Tudor thriller.

A few things that for me didn't work was the forced romance that was scattered throughout. I felt it didn't really add anything unless Bilyeau would have expanded a bit more. The ending also left me wondering what the future holds for Joanna and her sister just kind of ended.

But besides that, I enjoyed Bilyeau's writing. She made you feel that you were riding on that cart, heading towards Smithfield and feeling that trepidation knowing that you will see your cousin execution. The descriptions were vivid and you can tell that there was a lot of research put into this book. Great for anyone that loves Tudor era historical fiction.



SacredmOOn said...

I'm so not into historical books much. I really like ancient history though. Nonetheless great review Kelsey! DeAnna S.