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THE CHALICE: Book two of the Trilogy ~Nancy Bilyeau


THE CHALICE is the second in a series of historic fiction about 1538 and the destruction of the Catholic Church and the search of Henry VIII for a wife who will give him a son and heir to the throne.  THE CROWN is the first book of the series.  Lady Jane Seymour has died in child birth and the nuns, priests, monks and friars are all searching for their spot in the story as their monasteries and convents are being leveled to the ground and the treasures are being taken into the King’s treasury.

Novice nun Joanna Stafford is living in the small town of Dartford and beginning a tapestry weaving business with the little money she has left from her family funds.  Other nuns from her Priory are sharing a home because they do not have family funds and a friar and his sister are working an Apothecary clinic.  Joanna has now lost much of her family to the King’s rages and executions, including her beloved cousin Margaret.  Before his death, her father a knight, has entrusted Margaret’s son to Joanna’s care; she must find a way to education Arthur and help him to understand his noble birthrights.

Joanna’s Mother, who was of  Spanish heritage and was a Lady in Waiting for the King’s first wife, has involved Joanna in a seer’s prediction, which conceives a plot to find a way to bring the true religion back to the land and re-establish its dominance.

This was quite a good read and I was so glad that THE CHALICE was added to my reading list.  I always think that if you can put a fictional, intriguing, genuine character into a piece of history the reader is able to identify with;  the concepts of what was happening in that point in history and how people experienced it adds to the understanding.  The author has done a remarkable amount of research and found delightful details to share.  It is quite fun to follow Nancy Bilyeau as she shares her travels and research in the UK on Facebook.    Book number three in the group has already gone to the publisher, so I think I must read that book as soon as it is ready to go.

Lots of interesting facts to learn and I enjoyed the descriptions of the clothing and the medicines included in the text.   The segment about the Duchess and her need for a bath every day, that she had an indoor wooden tub in its own special room was fascinating.  The importance of letters, reading, and breeding also made an impact as the King was working diligently to purge all the folks from high ranking families who might take over the Crown and ruin the family lineage.

The book moved quickly and at a good pace.  There was mystery, suspense, beheadings and prophecy all keeping the reader turning the pages!  I can recommend to you THE CHALICE.

Nancy Bilyeau
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tlc logoI received a timed Kindle copy of this book from TLC online book tours and Simon & Schuster Publisher and there is no giveaway for this review.

If you purchase anything from Amazon or Powell’s  from this site, I will receive a few flowers in my bouquet.  Thank you.  Donations also welcomed.

Related Reading:
The Crown
Letters From SKYE
The Last Camilla
The Gods of Heavenly Punishment

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10 Comments on “THE CHALICE: Book two of the Trilogy ~Nancy Bilyeau”

  1. #1 Diane@BibliophilebytheSea
    on Aug 15th, 2013 at 3:09 am

    I love the cover and was curious about this one. Glad to see that you enjoyed it. I have to read book 1 – first

    Patricia Reply:

    Diane
    A good read and do definitely read book 1 first. That review is fro
    Mondays post

  2. #2 Patti Smith
    on Aug 15th, 2013 at 6:27 pm

    I enjoyed The Chalice as well…I love the Tudor era and especially intriguing to me was this novel from a totally different perspective than what Tudor readers are accustomed :)
    Enjoyed your review!

    Patricia Reply:

    Patti Smith
    Thank you for your kind words about the review. Yes I too enjoy reading about the Tudors and this was a very different perspective on the Catholic side.

    Now we need a lovely series of novels about the new church and religious and how they developed out of this harsh landscape.

    Book # is to the publishers – no date yet for it’s release

  3. #3 Alien Ghost
    on Aug 16th, 2013 at 1:39 am

    Hi Patricia,

    I’m always amazed how you can tell a lot about the book, without telling the story itself!

    This is a book that I will recomend to my son, who is very passionate about history.

    Thank you for the review! :)

    Raul
    Alien Ghost recently posted..The BridgeMy Profile

    Patricia Reply:

    Raul,
    History in story form is always good. I liked the details about what they did in the apothecary to heal people also. Very interesting story.
    Patricia recently posted..THE CHALICE: Book two of the Trilogy ~Nancy BilyeauMy Profile

  4. #4 Laurie Buchanan
    on Aug 16th, 2013 at 7:20 am

    Much like your first commenter, Diane, I feel the cover simply BEGS the book to be opened!

    Patricia Reply:

    Laurie,
    It is a good series and a good read. I did not even see the cover from my proof copy on Kindle and I am looking forward to book 3.

  5. #5 Heather J. @ TLC Book Tours
    on Aug 18th, 2013 at 9:30 am

    I’m glad that you’re following Nancy on Facebook! I love getting to “know” an author while she’s working on her next book – it makes reading the next book even more exciting for me.

    Thanks for being on the tour.

    Patricia Reply:

    Heather J
    Yep it is interesting to follow an author and now that many on are FB it can be similar to a forum in their discussions

    Need to read the next one. Hope it does not take too long