The Tapestry (Joanna Stafford #3) by Nancy BilyeauPaperback Publication Date: March 22, 2016
Touchstone/Simon & Schuster
Series: Joanna Stafford
Genre: Historical Mystery
“Fans of the Tudor era, you’re in for a treat” –InStyle magazine
Henry VIII’s Palace of Whitehall is the last place on earth Joanna Stafford wants to be. But a summons from the king cannot be refused.
After her priory was destroyed, Joanna, a young Dominican novice, vowed to live a quiet life, weaving tapestries and shunning dangerous conspiracies. That all changes when the king takes an interest in her tapestry talent.
With a ruthless monarch tiring of his fourth wife and amoral noblemen driven by hidden agendas, Joanna becomes entangled in court politics. Her close friend, Catherine Howard, is rumored to be the king’s mistress, and Joanna is determined to protect her from becoming the king’s next wife–and victim. All the while, Joanna tries to understand her feelings for the two men in her life: the constable who tried to save her and the friar she can’t forget.
Ina world of royal banquets, jousts, sea voyages and Tower Hill executions, Joanna must finally choose her future: nun or wife, spy or subject, rebel or courtier.
The Tapestry is the final book in a trilogy that began in 2012 with The Crown, an Oprah magazine pick. Don’t miss the adventures of one of the most unforgettable heroines in historical fiction.
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“In Joanna Stafford, Bilyeau has given us a memorable character who is prepared to risk her life to save what she most values.” (Deborah Harkness)
“Nancy Bilyeau’s passion for history infuses her books and transports us back to the dangerous world of Tudor England. Vivid characters and gripping plots are at the heart of this wonderful trilogy, and this third book will not fail to thrill readers. Warmly recommended!” (Alison Weir, author of The Marriage Game: A Novel of Queen Elizabeth I)
“A rip-roaring Tudor adventure from Nancy Bilyeau! Novice nun turned tapestry weaver Joanna Stafford returns to the court of Henry VIII. She’s that great rarity of historical fiction: a fiercely independent woman who is still firmly of her time. A mystery as richly woven as any of Joanna’s tapestries.” (Kate Quinn, author of Lady of the Eternal City)
“The Tapestry takes its history seriously, but that doesn’t stop it from being a supremely deft, clever and pacy entertainment. This is Nancy Bilyeau’s most thrilling – and enlightening – novel in the Joanna Stafford series yet.” (Andrew Pyper, International Thriller Writers Award winner of The Demonologist and The Damned)
“A master of atmosphere, Nancy Bilyeau imbues her novel with the sense of dread and oppression lurking behind the royal glamour; in her descriptions and characterizations . . . Bilyeau breathes life into history.” (Laura Andersen, author of The Boleyn King)
“In The Tapestry, Nancy Bilyeau brilliantly captures both the white-hot religious passions and the brutal politics of Tudor England. It is a rare book that does both so well.” (Sam Thomas, author of The Midwife’s Tale)
“In spite of murderous plots, volatile kings, and a divided heart, Joanna Stafford manages to stay true to her noble character. Fans of Ken Follett will devour Nancy Bilyeau’s novel of political treachery and courageous love, set amid the endlessly fascinating Tudor landscape.”(Erika Robuck, author of Hemingway’s Girl)
“These aren’t your mother’s nuns! Nancy Bilyeau has done it again, giving us a compelling and wonderfully realized portrait of Tudor life in all its complexity and wonder. A nun, a tapestry, a page-turning tale of suspense: this is historical mystery at its finest.” (Bruce Holsinger, author of A Burnable Book and The Invention of Fire)
Nancy Bilyeau has worked on the staffs of InStyle, Rolling Stone, Entertainment Weekly, and Ladies Home Journal. She is currently the executive editor of DuJour 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 “Zenobia” placed with the American Zoetrope competition, and “Loving Marys” reached the finalist stage of Scriptapalooza. A native of the Midwest, she earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan. THE CROWN, her first novel, was published in 2012; the sequel, THE CHALICE, followed in 2013, and THE TAPESTRY in 2015.
Nancy lives in New York City with her husband and two children. Stay in touch with her on Twitter at @tudorscribe. For more information or to sign up for Nancy’s Newsletter please visit her official website.
Joanna Stafford is pulled from her quiet life in Dartford by a summons to Whitehall Palace. King Henry VIII was so impressed with the tapestry that Joanna wove for Anne of Cleves that he has commissioned Joanna to weave another for him. Joanna has no choice now but to return to the cousin and King who killed members of her family and whom she recently was involved in a plot to kill. As soon as Joanna arrives at Whitehall, trouble finds her. Joanna also finds out that her dear friend, Catherine Howard is being pushed toward the King as a mistress. While working on the King’s Tapestry, Joanna now finds herself deeply embroiled in another plot with someone attempting to hurt her while she attempts to protect one friend and find the whereabouts of another, Edmund . The time will come for Joanna to finally choose what she wants in life.
This was my favorite of the Joanna Stafford novels. Taking place within King Henry’s court, many historical players are introduced through Joanna’s eyes: Anne of Cleves, Hans Holbein, Thomas Culpepper, Catherine Howard and Jane Boleyn. Joanna’s relationship with each of these people colors her view of them differently than we have seen through history, especially her friendship with Catherine Howard; however much historical accuracy is still kept. Filled with intrigue, there are plots within plots that Joanna must wade through. With her quick wit, good senses and cleverness Joanna finds her way through the scheming while immersing me in Tudor England on an exciting adventure.
This book was provided for free in return for an honest review.