Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Virtual Tour - The Chalice (Crown #2) by Nancy Bilyeau

Title: The Chalice
Author: Nancy Bilyeau
Series: 2nd (The Crown)
Pages: 416
Published: March 5th 2013 by Touchstone
ISBN: 9781476708652
Source: Arranged Tour
 Description: In 1538, England is in the midst of bloody power struggles between crown and cross that threaten to tear the country apart. Joanna Stafford has seen what lies inside the king’s torture rooms and risks imprisonment again, when she is caught up in a shadowy international plot targeting the King. As the power plays turn vicious, Joanna understands she may have to assume her role in a prophecy foretold by three different seers, each more omniscient than the last.  Joanna realizes the life of Henry VIII as well as the future of Christendom are in her hands—hands that must someday hold the chalice that lays at the center of these deadly prophecies…

  I Give This ...

I really wavered back and forth on whether I wanted to review this one.  I was a little worried that I hadn't read the first.  Plus, I just wasn't sure about the synopsis.  Eventually, Henry VIII won out.  I couldn't miss out on a different viewpoint!
I'm so glad I decided to give this book a shot.  It was completely not what I expected.  First off, very little of what I have read concerning Henry VIII's reign talked about the dissolution of the monasteries.  We all know know about making himself the head of The Church of England, thus separating for the Roman Catholic Church.  But, I was unfamiliar with the extent he went to eradicate all traces of the faith from England.  The cost to all the people that called this institutions their home was tremendous.  Not only were they cast out of their way of life, the often were ridiculed by the people.   

Joanna was an great lead character.  She lead the life of a sister, but she never really stuck me as such.   I think she took this path to hide herself from the eyes of the court.  She's much to close to the throne and she wants to make sure that the King never sees her as a threat.  However, it's been prophesied that she holds the key to restoring England to the Catholic faith.  I was extremely curious how this played out with what I know of English history.

It was most enlightening to read about a different side of England in this time period.  How everyone watched over the shoulders unsure who would be the one to bring the noose down around their neck.  The monarchy seemed to be the laughing stock to the rest of Europe but yet everybody was afraid to step in obviously.  Henry VIII must have been an interesting man to be able to exert his control the way he did.

The prophecy concerning Joanna and the return to the Catholic faith was interesting.  I obviously knew that it wouldn't play out the way everybody kept thinking it would or it wouldn't stick to history very well.  But, yet I found the way it did happen to be completely plausible and perfect.  A very riveting book from beginning to end!  Now I need to go back and read The Crown.


Praise for The Chalice

The Chalice
"Rarely have the terrors of Henry VIII's reformation been so exciting. Court intrigue, bloody executions, and haunting emotional entanglements create a heady brew of mystery and adventure that sweeps us from the devastation of the ransacked cloisters to the dangerous spy centers of London and the Low Countries, as ex-novice Joanna Stafford fights to save her way of life and fulfill an ancient prophecy, before everything she loves is destroyed." - C.W. Gortner, author of The Queen's Vow

The Chalice offers a fresh, dynamic look into Tudor England's most powerful, volatile personalities: Henry VIII, the Duke of Norfolk, Stephen Gardiner and Bloody Mary Tudor. Heroine and former nun Joanna Stafford is beautiful, bold and in lethal danger. Bilyeau writes compellingly of people and places that demand your attention and don't let you go even after the last exciting page. - Karen Harper, author of Mistress of Mourning

"An exciting and satisfying novel of historical suspense that cements Nancy Bilyeau as one of the genre's rising stars. The indominable Joanna Stafford is back with a cast of powerful and fascinating characters and a memorable story that is gripping while you are reading and haunting after you are done. Bravo! The Chalice is a fabulous read." - M.J. Rose, author of The Reincarnationist

About the Author

Nancy Bilyeau, author of The Crown, is a writer and magazine editor who has worked on the staffs of InStyle, Rolling Stone, Entertainment Weekly, and Good Housekeeping. Her latest position is features editor of Du Jour magazine. A native of the Midwest, she graduated from the University of Michigan. She lives in New York City with her husband and two children.

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