For secrets this deadly, blood will dye the throne of a nation... A superb Tudor novel from the author of THE CHALICE.
London, May 1537. As those closest to the throne are locked in a fierce fight against those desperate to save England's monasteries from destruction, young Joanna Stafford faces a far more personal battle. When Joanna learns her cousin is about to be burned at the stake for rebelling against Henry VIII, she makes a decision that will change not only her life, but quite possibly the fate of a nation.
It will mean turning her back on everything she knows, for Joanna is a novice at Dartford Priory - and to save her family, she must break the sacred rule of enclosure. But running away is only the first transgression. From the Tower of London, to secret assignations and from Stonehenge to the royal court - Joanna becomes entangled with a secret whose deadly past stretches farther back than anyone had imagined.
As her mission draws a trail in blood from the last whispered words of a queen to a pattern of unnatural deaths in the royal lineage, Joanna must determine who to trust, and how far she's willing to go to protect her life, her family and everything she holds dear.
A stunning debut. One of the best historical novels I have ever read — Alison Weir
Fabulous debut thriller — inStyle UK
A gripping treasure-hunt-like romp through one of the bloodiest periods in British history. — GOOD HOUSEKEEPING
Bilyeau deftly weaves extensive historical detail throughout, but the real draw of this suspenseful novel is its juicy blend of lust, murder, conspiracy and betrayal. — O, The Oprah Magazine
Strong character development, realistic historical detail, and an atmosphere of pervasive tension coupled to a fast-placed plot make it compulsively readable. — BOOKLIST
This fast-paced debut delivers Tudor intrigue and mystical thrills in one satisfying package - and leaves room for a sequel. — KIRKUS
Will appeal to fans of Dan Brown and Philippa Gregory — LIBRARY JOURNAL
Nancy Bilyeau's polished, inventive debut has all the ingredients of the best historical fiction: a broad cast of characters, well-imagined settings, and vivid story-telling...In Joanna Stafford, Bilyeau has given us a memorable character who us prepared to risk her life to save what she must most values, while Stafford's desperate search for a lost religious relic will satisfy even the most ardent mystery fans — Deborah Harkness, author of A DISCOVERY OF WITCHES
The events of the period come to life in Nancy Bilyeau's dazzling and heart-wrenching novel. The Crown is is evocative, provocative, and full of intriguing characters - a gorgeously written novel that has mystery and history, pathos and depth. This is a stunning debut about a woman whose spirit shines through and deeply moves the reader — M J Rose
With a strong protagonist and some well-drawn characters, there are political intrigues, power struggles and deadly encounters in this novel of mystery and suspense. — CHOICE MAGAZINE
A Historical Fiction title that not only brought together the elements of the historical beautifully but also wove a mystery within that kept me glued from start to finish...a cracking read. — FALCATA TIMES
Joanna Stafford is a young novice caught up in power struggles familiar to readers of Mantel and CJ Sansom, but with the elements of magic that echo the historical thrillers of Kate Mosse. — MSLEXIA