Be glad in the Lord and rejoice! Psalm 32:11

Monday, January 30, 2012

Book Blog Tour Stop - The Crown by Nancy Bilyeau

I'm so pleased to be hosting a Book Blog Tour Stop for the wonderful novel, "The Crown" by Nancy Bilyeau.

About The Book:

An aristocratic young nun must find a legendary crown in order to save her father—and preserve the Catholic faith from Cromwell’s ruthless terror. The year is 1537. . .

Joanna Stafford, a Dominican nun, learns that her favorite cousin has been condemned by Henry VIII to be burned at the stake. Defying the sacred rule of enclosure, Joanna leaves the priory to stand at her cousin’s side. Arrested for interfering with the king’s justice, Joanna, along with her father, is sent to the Tower of London.

The ruthless Stephen Gardiner, Bishop of Winchester, takes terrifying steps to force Joanna to agree to spy for him: to save her father’s life she must find an ancient relic—a crown so powerful, it may hold the ability to end the Reformation. Accompanied by two monks, Joanna returns home to Dartford Priory and searches in secret for this long-lost piece of history worn by the Saxon King Athelstan in 937 during the historic battle that first united Britain.

But Dartford Priory has become a dangerous place, and when more than one dead body is uncovered, Joanna departs with a sensitive young monk, Brother Edmund, to search elsewhere for the legendary crown. From royal castles with tapestry-filled rooms to Stonehenge to Malmesbury Abbey, the final resting place of King Athelstan, Joanna and Brother Edmund must hurry to find the crown if they want to keep Joanna’s father alive. At Malmesbury, secrets of the crown are revealed that bring to light the fates of the Black Prince, Richard the Lionhearted, and Katherine of Aragon’s first husband, Arthur. The crown’s intensity and strength are beyond the earthly realm and it must not fall into the wrong hands.

With Cromwell’s troops threatening to shutter her priory, bright and bold Joanna must now decide who she can trust with the secret of the crown so that she may save herself, her family, and her sacred way of life. This provocative story melds heart-stopping suspense with historical detail and brings to life the poignant dramas of women and men at a fascinating and critical moment in England’s past.

In "The Crown," a story that mixes a battle between good and evil, author Nancy Bilyeau manages to create an action-filled, suspenseful historical tale that literally keeps the reader on the edges of their seat throughout the book.

Bilyeau's cast of characters, featuring the young, but dynamic novice Sister Joanna and gifted healer Brother Edmund in the lead roles, are personable as well as accurate for the time-period, yet they are as fascinating as any modern-day heroes and heroines.

When one critic called "The Crown" a great mix between Phillipa Gregory and Dan Brown, they had the description exactly right. I throughly enjoyed the fast-paced adventures, and more than a little sad to see the story come to an end. Perhaps a sequel might be in the future, one would hope?
I highly recommend this novel to anyone who enjoys historical fiction with a goodly amount of twists and turns to keep it lively!

About The Author:

Nancy Bilyeau has worked on the staffs of Rolling Stone, Entertainment Weekly, and Good Housekeeping. Most recently, she served as deputy editor at InStyle 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 "Loving Marys" reached the finalist stage with Page International Screenwriting Awards and Scriptapalooza. A native of the Midwest, she earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Michigan. The Crown is her first novel.

Some earlier milestones: In 1661, Nancy's ancestor, Pierre Billiou, emigrated from France to what was then New Amsterdam when he and his family sailed on the St. Jean de Baptiste to escape persecution for their Protestant beliefs. Pierre built the first stone house on Staten Island and is considered the borough's founder. His little white house is on the national register of historic homes and is still standing to this day.

Nancy lives in New York City with her husband and two children.

Nancy Bilyeau's Website:  http://www.nancybilyeau.com
Nancy Bilyeau on Twitter: @TudorScribe

My Thanks to Amy Bruno of HF Virtual Book Tours for inviting me to be a part of this tour, and to Touchstone Books for the review copy of the book.  I was not compensated for my opinion.

For more information on Nancy's Blog tour - check out these links!

Tour Schedule:  http://hfvirtualbooktours.blogspot.com/2011/12/nancy-bilyeau-on-tour-for-crown-january.html
Tour Event Twitter Hashtag:  #TheCrownVirtualBookTour


Mary (Bookfan) said...

I know a couple of people in my family who would probably enjoy this book. Thanks for the review, Sharon!

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