BY NANCY BILYEAU
Publication Date: December 3, 2018
Paperback & eBook; 430 Pages
Genre: Historical Fiction
In eighteenth century London, porcelain is the most seductive of commodities; fortunes are made and lost upon it. Kings do battle with knights and knaves for possession of the finest pieces and the secrets of their manufacture.
For Genevieve Planché, an English-born descendant of Huguenot refugees, porcelain holds far less allure; she wants to be an artist, a painter of international repute, but nobody takes the idea of a female artist seriously in London. If only she could reach Venice.
When Genevieve meets the charming Sir Gabriel Courtenay, he offers her an opportunity she can’t refuse; if she learns the secrets of porcelain, he will send her to Venice. But in particular, she must learn the secrets of the colour blue…
The ensuing events take Genevieve deep into England’s emerging industrial heartlands, where not only does she learn about porcelain, but also about the art of industrial espionage.
With the heart and spirit of her Huguenot ancestors, Genevieve faces her challenges head on, but how much is she willing to suffer in pursuit and protection of the colour blue?
AVAILABLE ON AMAZON AND OTHER RETAILERS
Praise for The Blue
A Goodreads’ Recommended Choice for Historical Novel in December 2018 Newslette and a BookBub Editors’ Choice/New Releases
“Nancy Bilyeau, whose wonderful Crown trilogy I hugely enjoyed, has just published a new novel, The Blue, which I highly recommend.” – Alison Weir
“Historical fans will be well satisfied.” – Publishers Weekly
“…transports the reader into the heart of the 18th century porcelain trade—where the price of beauty was death.” – E.M. Powell, author of the Stanton & Barling medieval mystery series.
“Bilyeau is an impressive talent who brings to life a heart-stopping story of adventure, art and espionage during the Seven Years War.” – Stephanie Dray, bestselling author of My Dear Hamilton
“With rich writing, surprising twists, and a riveting sense of ‘you are there,’ The Blue is spine-tingling entertainment.” – Gayle Lynds, New York Times bestselling author of The Assassins
Genevieve Planché is a French refugee in England. Her family are Huguenots, unwanted by the French King Louis XV. Genevieve's grandfather is an artist and she strives to be an artist as well, however the closest she can come in France is painting flowers on silk dresses. Opportunity arises after a chance meeting with the mesmerizing Sir Gabriel Courtenay. Courtenay promises Geneiveve a placement as an artist in Venice if she will use her talents in order to spy for him at the porcelain factory. Courtenay is specifically interested in a new color blue that a hidden chemist is working on perfecting at the factory. Genevieve takes the risk, but soon learns the cost as she meets the infamous chemist and learns who she is truly spying for.
An exciting historical spy thriller that combines art, science and romance for a captivating adventure into the color blue. Genevieve's spirit immediately captured me as she was willing to fight for a position among the male artists. Through rich and detailed historical writing I was able to learn about the Huguenots plight in France and their successes in England as well as the growth of the porcelain industry through King Louis XV mistress, Madame Pompadour. The fight for the development of colors was riveting to me. There were many reasons why Courtenay seemed to want the specific blue, but I could never imagine the danger that a color would bring as Genevieve's life was turned upside down. The spy elements and romance between Genevieve and Thomas kept me intrigued, but it was truly the color blue that drove the story.
This book was received for free in return for an honest review.
Nancy Bilyeau is the author of the historical thriller “The Blue” and the Tudor mystery series “The Crown,” “The Chalice,” and “The Tapestry,” on sale in nine countries. She is a magazine editor who has lived in the United States and Canada.
In “The Blue,” Nancy draws on her own heritage as a Huguenot. She is a direct descendant of Pierre Billiou, a French Huguenot who immigrated to what was then New Amsterdam (later New York City) in 1661. Nancy’s ancestor, Isaac, was born on the boat crossing the Atlantic, the St. Jean de Baptiste. Pierre’s stone house still stands and is the third oldest house in New York State.
Nancy, who studied History at the University of Michigan, has worked on the staffs of “InStyle,” “Good Housekeeping,” and “Rolling Stone.” She is currently the deputy editor of the Center on Media, Crime and Justice at the Research Foundation of CUNY and a regular contributor to “Town & Country” and “The Vintage News.”
Nancy’s mind is always in past centuries but she currently lives with her husband and two children in New York City.
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