Review: THE TAPESTRY by Nancy Bilyeau

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I recently received a review copy of THE TAPESTRY through Touchstone Publicity and Simon and Schuster. This is the third novel in a trilogy, centering on tapestry seamstress Joanna Stafford in the time of King Henry VIII. I chose this title because, if you know me you know this already, I LOVE Tudor stories and that time in British history!

Joanna Stafford is a fascinating heroine: former novice, highly intelligent, left at the altar, gifted creator of tapestries, target of a plot to kill her. Joanna is called to the court of King Henry VIII to create some tapestries for him and she has barely arrived when someone tries to kill her. Throughout her time at court – actually all throughout this book – someone is following her, watching her, trying to take her down. She and the man sent to guard her try to figure it out (in time!). Meanwhile, her very close friend is none other than Katherine Howard. The story starts with Henry being married to Anne of Cleves, but I think most of us know what is going to happen. Joanna tries to protect her friend and keep her from getting entangled with this most powerful man and ruler.

All is all, this was a great book. The writing is superb and the story moves along – in some spots faster than others – it kept my interest throughout.

This title can be read as a stand alone – though I will admit to wanting to get the first two novels, too, as I enjoyed this one so much.

Thank you again for my copy!

You can find this book online or in stores near you.

Quick Review: ELIZABETH OF YORK by Alison Weir

Alison Weir is an amazing historian, having written non-fiction books on a variety of British history subjects, including Henry VIII and Elizabeth I. I’ve read most of her work and while it is dense, it is fascinating.

I received ELIZABETH OF YORK from Net Galley. To be honest, I had no idea who she was (except that with that name, she was British). The subtitle of this book is “A Tudor Queen and Her World”. Elizabeth was Henry VIII’s mother. Her brothers were the little princes in the Tower (who disappeared). Elizabeth lived in a somewhat chaotic and violent time in British history in the late 1400’s. After a variety of ups and downs, she became a beloved and reigning queen, and the grandmother of Elizabeth I.

While I love reading these type of books, it is dense reading! It was also quite long. I read a Kindle version, but Amazon says over 600 pages. It is filled with facts that I would have been better served to write down into a genealogy. (I also struggle with the fact that a LOT of British queens/ladies shared the same three names: Elizabeth, Anne, or Jane, with an occasional Margaret thrown in).

If you don’t know much about Elizabeth of York and enjoy historical biography of the Tudors, then this is one for you!

Thanks, Net Galley and Ballantine Books, for my copy!