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The Crown (Joanna Stafford #1)

3.79  ·  Rating Details  ·  3,068 Ratings  ·  561 Reviews
Tudor fiction like no other. Joanna Stafford, a Dominican nun, learns that her favorite cousin has been condemned by Henry VIII to be burned at the stake. Defying the 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.

While Joanna is in th
Hardcover, 409 pages
Published January 10th 2012 by Touchstone
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Patricia Burroughs
A mystery set in the reign of Henry VIII (after he set aside Katharine of Aragon and off-with-her-headed Anne Boleyn, during his marriage to Jane Seymour). It is a cracking good tale with murder, blood, betrayal and crimes of passion, set amidst a world of religious peril, because the main character, Joanna, is a Catholic nun. (You might recall Henry VIII’s awkward relationship with Rome and the slight grudge he had against the Roman Church?)

I find the point of view of Sister Joanna quite compel
Jenny Q
Jan 18, 2012 Jenny Q rated it really liked it
When I picked up this book to start reading I was thinking, OK, how exciting can a book about a nun really be? Well the answer is: VERY! I was pleasantly surprised to discover this book was nothing like I was expecting and Joanna Stafford made for a great protagonist. I think that's mainly because she's really not cut out to be a nun, despite her fervent faith, but she hasn't quite figured that out yet. She's educated and she was raised to be a lady of the court, so she's wise in many ways that ...more
Nancy Bilyeau’s “The Crown” began on a sour note; as I instantly gathered that it was trying “too hard” to be historical fiction. Meaning: that it tried to follow the epitome formula (major event on the initial pages, character flashbacks, etc). Sadly, “the Crown” fails to deliver on a truly deep story which is not only reflected by the plot but also by the characters and writing style. For instance, the sentences are too choppy and short, which leaves much to be desired. Furthermore, Bilyeau la ...more
Judith Starkston
Jun 07, 2012 Judith Starkston rated it really liked it
The Crown, set in 16th century England, follows a young nun as she tries to save her family, her priory and her faith, armed primarily with a stubborn streak and a good mind. There are a number of pleasures to reading this book.

One is watching the development of Joanna. When we meet her, we are struck by her naïveté and unpreparedness for the world that she has thrust herself into, but also by her determination and intelligence. She’s one of those rare people who gain a clearer, more cynical un
Mar 21, 2015 Samantha rated it really liked it
The Crown was a unique novel that I had not quite decided if I was going to read until I had an opportunity to get a copy of the latest Joanna Stafford novel, The Tapestry. I'm glad that I did. Joanna is an interesting and well developed character, and I enjoyed her story.

The writing and historical research evident in this novel were two of the elements that I enjoyed most. Joanna is incredibly innocent of some worldly truths, yet well connected through her family. She is firm in her faith, but
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Nancy is a writer and magazine editor. She attended the University of Michigan and has lived in Illinois, Michigan and Toronto, Ontario. She has worked as an editor at "InStyle" and "Good Housekeeping" and lives in New York City with her husband and two children. "The Crown" took five years to research and write and is on sale in 10 countries. "The Chalice" won the Best Historical Mystery Award fo ...more
More about Nancy Bilyeau...

Other Books in the Series

Joanna Stafford (3 books)
  • The Chalice (Joanna Stafford, #2)
  • The Tapestry (Joanna Stafford, #3)

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“When a burning is announced, the taverns off Smithfield Square order extra barrels of ale, but when the person to be executed is a woman and one of noble birth, the ale comes by the cartload.” 3 likes
“A faint acrid smell drifted in through the window, from the cannon fire. But through it all the walls of my prison cell never trembled. The walls of the Tower are the thickest in the land and they never, ever tremble” 1 likes
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