Tuesday, March 17, 2015

The Tapestry by Nancy Bilyeau ~ Review & Giveaway

Title: The Tapestry
Author: Nancy Bilyeau
Genre: Historical Fiction Mystery
Series: Joanna Stafford #3
US Publication Date: 24th March 2015 
UK Publication Date: 24th April 2015
Pages: 390

Book Source: Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

Synopsis: In THE CROWN, Sister Joanna Stafford searched for a Dark Ages relic that could save her priory from Cromwell’s advancing army of destruction. In THE CHALICE, Joanna was drawn into an international conspiracy against Henry VIII himself as she struggled to learn the truth behind a prophecy of his destruction.

Now, in THE TAPESTRY, Joanna Stafford finally chooses her own destiny.

After her Dominican priory in Dartford closed forever—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, and fears for her life in a court bursting with hidden agendas and a casual disregard for the virtues she holds dear. 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 the King’s mistress. Joanna is determined to protect young, beautiful, na├»ve 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 Stafford must finally choose.

My Thoughts:
It's not often I say a book is superb let alone the entire trilogy but Nancy Bilyeau ticks all the boxes with The Tapestry and its predecessors. Maintaining historical integrity while blessing the reader with a pacy entertaining read is no mean feat. 

I'm a glutton for all things Tudor. Being well read in that particular historical period I confess I've become quite picky discerning and really appreciate a fresh approach which is exactly what Nancy Bilyeau gives readers with her Joanna Stafford trilogy. Viewing the oft-covered Tudor era and Henry VIII's court, roiling with religious instability, political treachery, conspiracies and betrayals from the perspective of former Dominican novice Joanna Stafford has been an exciting reading experience. 

I loved the direction Bilyeau took in this final installment. Despite best intentions Joanna is drawn back into service to King Henry, intrigue and danger follow her doggedly. King Henry is working on ridding himself of wife number 4, Anne of Cleves and has Catherine Howard in his sights for wife number 5 spot, much to Joanna's horror, being a long-time friend of Catherine's. 

Once again I loved the mix of notable historical figures and fictional characters, I enjoyed learning about German painter Hans Holbein the younger and I was especially happy to spend time with many (King Henry VIII, Thomas Cromwell, Bishop Gardiner, Thomas Howard, Jane Boleyn, Thomas Culpepper and Catherine Howard) from the safety of a book's pages. 

A compulsive read that has you turning the pages for ...  just one more chapter. 

Recommend: hell yes!! Read them all. 

Follow the Tour Schedule
Twitter Hashtag - #TheTapestryBlogTour

See my reviews
Book 1 The Crown  
Book 2 The Chalice

Connect with Nancy Bilyeau

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To enter to win one of three signed hardcover copies of The Tapestry, please complete the form below

Giveaway starts on March 16th at 12:01am EST and ends at 11:59pm EST on April 3rd.
Giveaway is open to residents in North America and the UK.
You must be 18 or older to enter.
Winners will be chosen via GLEAM on April 4th and notified via email.
Winners have 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.



  1. Been waiting for this third book in the series. Sounds like it will be as great as the first two. Thanks for the giveaway.

    1. It definitely was Linda, maybe even better. I loved it, hope you do too!

  2. Replies
    1. absolutely Sheila, good luck in the giveaway!

  3. This sounds like such a wonderful series Teddyree. I love the period and like that she kept it accurate yet face-paced and entertaining.

    1. the research in all 3 books has been meticulous and any embellishments have enhanced the story rather than detracted from it. You would love them Kimberly :)

  4. I've heard great things about this series, but somehow I haven't picked the first book up yet. Maybe I will do it now that I can read all three in a row!

    1. yay!! do that, can't wait to see what you think :)

  5. This sounds like a wonderful trilogy. I have read only a small number of books from the Tudor period, although the ones I have, I enjoyed. I'll keep this trilogy in mind for when I need to change up my reading to refresh my reading palate. Great review as always.

    1. Well I think you know how much I love the Tudor period Kathryn lol. Keep the trilogy on your wishlist, it takes a lot to impress me now so definitely no hesitation in recommending these!

  6. I have heard good things about this one :)

    1. this is right up your alley B ... I'd be surprised if you didn't love it :)

  7. Thank you so much for these comments. And I appreciate the review! I don't write traditional historical novels and it is gratifying to find people who like that :)

    1. Thanks so much for stopping by Nancy ... loved them all but this final installment just cemented your position. I'll be waiting with bated breath for whatever's next from you?? Any hints lol


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