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Guest review: The Crown

January 20, 2012

I’m happy to say my sister’s back with a wonderful review!  I didn’t think this book was for me, but after reading what she has to say, I may just have to give it a try.

The year is 1537 and England’s religious houses are under siege.  The King has separated himself from the Catholic church and established the Church of England.  King Henry VIII’s chief minister, the conniving Thomas Cromwell,  has set about disbanding the monasteries.  Joanna Stafford at the urging of the King’s first discarded wife, Katherine of Aragon, joins Dartford Priory.  Joanna is of  noble birth, well educated, fluent in several languages.  The king has ordered her cousin and best friend, Margaret,  be burned at the stake.  Joanna is a novice at the priory, but risks everything by breaking the rules and sneaking out in the middle of the night.  She makes her way to Smithfield to attend the execution.  When her father shows up all mayhem breaks loose, and she finds herself on a barge on the Thames headed for the Tower of London.  The Tower is a prison with a notorious reputation for torture and death.  The only chance Joanna has of making it out of the Tower alive is a deal offered her by the conniving Bishop of Winchester.

The Crown is Nancy Bilyeau’s debut novel and it’s a good one.  It’s not your usual historical novel; it combines history with a fast paced exciting plot.  Most people are familiar with Henry VIII and his numerous wives, but I doubt many know much if anything about the Pilgrimage of Grace and Thomas Cromwell.  I found it fascinating and I found myself digging a little deeper into this part of English history.  I really enjoyed this book.  It’s filled with secrets, murder, subterfuge and intrigue. Joanna Stafford, the strong female character who is so brave, determined, and resourceful is amazing.  Can Joanna solve the mystery and save her beloved father and priory?  You’ll just have to read this thriller of a tale to find out.

Review copy provided by Simon & Schuster.  I am an Indiebound Affiliate.

25 Comments leave one →
  1. January 20, 2012 4:09 am

    I can’t remember the last time I read a good historical novel that wasn’t YA. This one does look good. Fabulous review from your sister.

  2. January 20, 2012 7:27 am

    Sounds like it has everything I like in a historical history novel!

  3. January 20, 2012 8:01 am

    Now I’m regretting that I didn’t accept this one….. Great review!

  4. January 20, 2012 8:35 am

    Ah, Cromwell…this should be interesting…Thanks for the review.

  5. January 20, 2012 9:00 am

    Terrific review!

  6. January 20, 2012 9:43 am

    I have a hardcopy of this one, and I’m waiting to download the ebook. It’s currently not available for me. This one sounds like a fascinating read! THe love the Tudor era. Great review!

  7. January 20, 2012 10:50 am

    I’m glad to see you liked this one Karen because I’ll be reading it soon. It sounds fantastic!

  8. January 20, 2012 10:57 am

    I am also going to be reading this one soon, and you’ve managed to make me rather excited about it! Thanks for the great review and for sharing your opinion with us!

  9. January 20, 2012 11:30 am

    I’m so glad to see that this is good — from the blurbs I read about it I thought that is was something I would like, and now I’m sure of it!

  10. January 20, 2012 11:42 am

    Great review, this sounds like it is right up my alley.

  11. January 20, 2012 12:12 pm

    Sounds like something I would enjoy! 🙂

  12. January 20, 2012 12:23 pm

    I am on the blogtour for this one :_)

  13. January 20, 2012 12:40 pm

    This does sound really good and I haven’t read much about this period. Glad your sister is becoming a regular contributor!

  14. January 20, 2012 1:54 pm

    Yay for guest reviewers! I didn’t get around to accepting this one and now I’m regretting it. I’m definitely going to have to head out to my indie and pick it up!

  15. January 20, 2012 2:44 pm

    I don’t read books from this time period normally, but this does sound good.

  16. January 20, 2012 3:20 pm

    I do love your guest reviews…this one does sound intriguing…I can’t talk my sister into anything.

  17. Page permalink
    January 20, 2012 3:20 pm

    This sounds great and I’ve put in on my TBR list. Thanks.

  18. January 20, 2012 4:17 pm

    I’m so looking forward to this one — thanks for sharing this review as it has me even more excited!

  19. January 20, 2012 4:52 pm

    I’m reading The Crown now, and really enjoying it! Thanks for the review!

  20. January 20, 2012 5:36 pm

    Maybe BermudaOnion’s Sister will start a book blog of her own! Terrific review of this debut novel!

  21. January 21, 2012 8:01 am

    I am absolutely intrigued by this book….must add it to my list!

  22. January 21, 2012 11:09 am

    Sounds great. I love historicals and the Tudors fascinate me. Nice review.

  23. January 21, 2012 9:02 pm

    Fun to share books with your sister … and fun to have such an intriguing guest post.

  24. January 23, 2012 4:57 am

    This is my kind of book definitely.

  25. January 28, 2012 11:56 am

    Great review – both of you!

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