Copy received from author for an honest review
My humble review:First, I LOVED “The Crown” the first book in the Joanna Stafford series. This was my first introduction to Historical Fiction and I absolutely loved it and continued to read Historical Fiction because of “The Crown.” It is still, hands down, one of my favorites. I have to bow my head down in shame because I did not read “The Chalice”-yet. Which I’m sorry because I can tell by “The Tapestry” I missed out on many good plots. When I saw “The Tapestry” I became obsessed with Joanna Stafford and I couldn’t wait to find out how Bilyeau developed her story. I started “The Tapestry” with anticipation and excitement.
Let me say, it does not disappoint. I LOVED “The Tapestry.” It was an instant five star rating for me. Why? First, I loved the ending. I’m a romantic at heart, the ending took me by surprise and I loved that Joanna finally had a happy ending. (I personally hope that Bileyeau has more in store for her.) So, yes I loved the ending. I loved Joanna. She is such a rich character. A no longer nun, left without her Dominican order. When the story begins she is summoned by Henry VIII, yes! First, wow! She is invited to create a Tapistry, which she has a talent for doing. Joanna is terrified that the King knows or will know that she played a hand in trying to displace him as king. She is terrified of his advisor more notably Cromwell. His presence is like a ghost. So aside from the before mentioned, I loved how Bilyeau portrayed Henry VIII. He really is a fascinating character. I learned little tidbits that I had not known before. One being the sores on his legs. Second, when Joanna visits the King he is married to Anne of Cleaves but is also having an affair with Katherine Howard. I loved how the author introduced these subplots. While Joanna is at court she is fearing for her life and rightly so.
Finally, I loved seeing the story unfold through Joanna’s eyes. I loved the first person point of view and I really enjoyed how she developed different relationships, most notably with the future queen Katherine Howard. My only grievance is what to look forward to from Bilyeau. I hope that we see more of Joanna and I would love to see what other pieces of history she has to tell us about! My heartfelt and sincerest literary thanks to the author for not only allowing me to read this beautiful story but making it so wonderful!