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Thursday, March 7, 2013

*[Blog Tour Review] The Chalice (Crown #2) by Nancy Bilyeau

The Chalice
In the next novel from Nancy Bilyeau after her acclaimed debut The Crown, novice Joanna Stafford plunges into an even more dangerous conspiracy as she comes up against some of the most powerful men of her era.

In 1538, England is in the midst of bloody power struggles between crown and cross that threaten to tear the country apart. Joanna Stafford has seen what lies inside the king’s torture rooms and risks imprisonment again, when she is caught up in a shadowy international plot targeting the King. As the power plays turn vicious, Joanna understands she may have to assume her role in a prophecy foretold by three different seers, each more omniscient than the last.

Joanna realizes the life of Henry VIII as well as the future of Christendom are in her hands—hands that must someday hold the chalice that lays at the center of these deadly prophecies…
Summary & Cover taken from
Length: 496 pages (Hardcover)
Source: Review Copy
Available Formats: Print/E-book/Audio
Publication Date: March 5th 2013 by Touchstone
The Chalice is the second book in the Crown series by historical fiction author Nancy Bilyeau that takes place during the reign of King Henry VIII. While I haven't yet read the first book in the series I can say that The Chalice can be read successfully as a standalone but it was so good I'm definitely going to have to borrow The Crown to get more of the author's writing.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading The Chalice. Historical Fiction is one of my favourite genres so it was a real treat to be invited to join the tour for this novel. Rarely have I read a novel that brings this era of England's dark history to life in such a rich and imaginative way that is both captivating and depending on the scenes, disturbing and dark as well.
While I read about Joanna's tale I became completely immersed in the story. For me if an author is able to suck me into the story from the very beginning like Nancy Bilyeau did while I read The Chalice that's a sing that she's an author to watch and after finishing this book I can honestly that Nancy Bilyeau can write anything and I'll read it.
I loved the characters in The Chalice. Joanna is probably one of my top 5 favourite historical fiction heroines ever. Her intelligence, cunning, caring and kind personality really counter balanced the dark undertone of the novel. I was surprised to find that rather than use the side characters more as props to the story the author used them to their full potential making them all integral to the telling of the overall tale which I loved. I love when there's a rich variety of characters that have some real substance to them even if they're the bad guys.
I also learned a lot about being a lady in waiting and the customs of going to court as well as other things about life during the tumultuous time period The Chalice was set in. You could tell right away that the author takes her craft seriously and you can tell that she's researched the time period thoroughly and that she has a great passion for her work. The amount of detail in the novel was fantastic and was neither too much or too little and I feel as though I learned something reading The Chalice which is not something you can say about just any novel.
The story itself though blew me away. The amount of intrigue and betrayal is potent and the plots abound in The Chalice. While there is the brief mentioning of events that have taken place in the first book I didn't feel like they spoiled the first book for me and I'm glad that I was able to take part in the book tour for The Chalice.
Overall, Nancy Bilyeau wrote a fantastic piece of historical fiction that is both lovely and brutal. I would recommend this book (and the first one even though I haven't had the pleasure of reading it yet) to anyone who loves historical fiction. This is a fantastic novel to read and will such you in from the first page.
*I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my free and honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed herein are 100% my own.
Loved it!

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  1. Fantastic review! Nancy is a great writer and now I cannot wait to get my hands on a copy of The Chalice! :-D

  2. I love the cover and a love the review!
    Historical fiction is one of my favorites genres so I´ll be adding this one to my TBR list.
    Excellent review

    1. The cover is gorgeous isn't it? I hope you can get your hands on this one and the first book soon.

  3. The rules of court were fascinating. This sounds like a great series, Kim I am glad you were able to read this as a standalone!

  4. Wow wow wow. Historical fiction and did you say top 5 historical fiction characters, I have to get my hands on this one. Love your review, can't wait to read it.

  5. Great review. You love yourself some historical fiction. :)

  6. Wonderful review and a beautiful cover. I haven't read a good historical novel in a while (unless you count romances); this looks like a great series to get me back into the genre.


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