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The Lady of the Ravens

(Queens of the Tower #1)

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  751 ratings  ·  177 reviews
‘A fascinating portrait of the women who helped make a dynasty’ The Times

‘Bewitching’ Woman Home

‘Evocative’ Woman’s Weekly

Two women, two very different destinies, drawn together in the shadow of the Tower of London:

Elizabeth of York, her life already tainted by dishonour and tragedy, now queen to the first Tudor king, Henry the VII.

Joan Vaux, servant of the court, strainin
Paperback, 480 pages
Published February 18th 2021 by HarperCollins (first published January 9th 2020)
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Joanna Hickson I think it will be at the same time as the UK, Jan 9th 2020, but I'll check and get back to you if I'm wrong. …moreI think it will be at the same time as the UK, Jan 9th 2020, but I'll check and get back to you if I'm wrong. (less)
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Average rating 3.93  · 
Rating details
 ·  751 ratings  ·  177 reviews

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Oct 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this historical novel set at the beginning of the Tudor Dynasty. The central character is Giovanna Vaux, who is known as Joan. Her mother enjoys the patronage of Lady Margaret Beaufort, mother of Henry VII and Joan becomes part of Elizabeth of York’s household, so we get a ringside seat of events! The story takes us from the start of Henry’s reign to the marriage of Prince Arthur to Katherine of Aragon, a marriage that in the future will be highly problematic! Joan is the Lady o ...more
Jan 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars rounded up. Well. I have to confess that in recent years, I have had an aversion to historical fiction of the Tudor era. This is largely because I get bogged down in all the different characters of court, often with the same name. How many Margarets, Mary’s and Elizabeth’s, Henrys and Edwards do you need?! So this author did a fantastic job of keeping everyone straight in my head. I enjoyed this book because it concerned the period where Henry VII came to the throne. I’m so bored by st ...more
Finitha Jose
Why do we read historical fiction? For me, the major attraction lies with the power of knowledge. At least here we know what is going to happen to our favourite heroes and vile villains. A bit like sharing the experience of being a divine perhaps. And Tudor England? Oh, that is best of times; intrigue, executions and glory abound, making it a gold mine for writers and readers alike.
'Lady of the Ravens' is another wonderful addition to this growing pile and we get to see the beginning of Tudor r
The Lady of the Ravens is a fictionalized account of the life of Joan Vaux, lady-in-waiting to Elizabeth, wife of Henry VII. Through Joan’s privileged access, the reader gets a glimpse into the marriage of the King and Queen and of life at Court.

Opening shortly after the Battle of Bosworth and early in the reign of Henry VII, it’s apt that the collective term for a gathering of ravens is a ‘conspiracy’ for it’s a time of unrest, shifting allegiances, the threat of revolt and pretenders to the th
Joanna Park
Jan 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I’m a huge fan of historical fiction, particularly books set in the Tudor era, so this book really appealed to me.

I hadn’t read much about Joan Vaux before so I found it very interesting to learn more about her story. I really liked Joan who came across as a very clever, honest lady who doesn’t take herself too seriously which made me warm to her. I also liked her husband Richard who underneath everything was a lovely, kind man whose love and loyalty to his family shined through. I enjoyed readi
I'm a big fan of Joanna Hickson's historical fiction and The Lady of the Ravens is absolutely superb. Set during the first ten years or so of Henry VII's reign we view these uncertain and difficult times through the eyes of Joan, a lady in waiting to Henry's Yorkist Queen who is drawn towards the ravens of the Tower of London, which are tormented by the Tower's soldiers and guards. If the ravens settle then so too will England, this is what Joan believes. But the story moves well beyond this to ...more
Early review:

I do love a Tudor mystery but haven't read any for a while as I think I've overdosed on them. Well, this was one that caught my eye with the dramatic cover and the mention of having the eyes and ears of the ravens to survive Tudor Times. If you've ever been to the Tower of London where this book is set, you see them everywhere, looking, watching....they're quite evil looking birds and there's a legend which says that if they all fly away from the tower, bad things will happen. Well
3.5 stars

I received this book from the publishers via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Joan Guildford was one of the lady-in-waitings in Queen Elizabeth's court during King Henry VII's reign, and helped her friend the Queen throughout numerous challenges including her marriage, the births and deaths of children and a lot of political upheaval in between - including the emergence of a boy claiming to be Elizabeth's brother Richard - and heir to the throne.

This was a nice historical fict
Jan 11, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviews
For those that know me, they won't be surprised when I say that I really did enjoy this novel. Although this is the first book I have read of Joanna Hickson, I love Historical novels and I'm always looking forward to go back in time with a book and the characters that take me on adventures and let me know about a different period of history and about society back then.

That been said, it totally was what happened when I read "The Lady of the Ravens". As we follow Giovann, aka Joan, we are taken o
Jul 01, 2021 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
DNF. couldn’t bear to read any further beyond the halfway mark - i’m all for bad historical fiction but this wasn’t even bad in a fun way :0
Christine Cazeneuve

I truly enjoyed and appreciated this story. I knew nothing about the Lady of the Ravens and came to like her very much as the story progressed. There was a part about a quarter of the way in that it became very slow and I almost gave up on it. However I continued on and the pace was perfectly executed. I really liked the backstory with the ravens as we go through the story of Henry VII and Queen Elizabeth.
The Coycaterpillar Reads
The Lady Of Ravens was a great introduction into historical fiction. The Tudor years seemed to be filled with the brutal way that life was and also the romantic way of living with the dress, the relationships and the dreams and aspirations. I enjoyed the experience of being transported back in time to a land where you could truly count your enemies and friends on the same hand, and not really distinguishing between the two. I did struggle with the speed at which the story pushed forward and woul ...more
Oct 14, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love historical fiction but I found this book to be a little slow for me. It's well written and well researched but just didn't hit the spot.
Thank you Netgalley for the ARC.
Mar 20, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fictionalised history...

Joan Vaux has known Elizabeth of York since childhood, so when Elizabeth becomes Queen to the first of the Tudors, Henry VII, it is natural for Joan to become one of her court servants. This is the story of Joan’s life – her rise through the ranks to become lady-in-waiting to the Queen and her husband’s equal rise to the top ranks of Henry’s circle. Living for periods of time in the Tower of London, Joan has developed a fascination for the ravens who make their home there
May 22, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love story's about the Tudors and the war of the Rose's before. And this book gives us some insight in the story from another point of view. I loved the story and the main character Joan. Truly an lovely book to read. ...more
Rebecca L.
Dec 30, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My favorite aspect of the Lady of the Ravens is the way that the author evokes the atmosphere of the Tower of London and the surrounding community. The book is rich with historical details about England in the early Tudor period. I have a soft spot for novels set during this time in history, and Hickson’s writing reminds me of another Philippa Gregory, who is one of my favorite authors.

I enjoyed reading about the life of the protagonist, Joan Vaux. I found her easy to relate to because she also
Dec 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Lady of the Ravens by Joanna Hickson is a interesting book set in the Tudor reign.
The protagonist Giovanni ‘Joan ‘ Vaux is attendant in the Princess Elizabeth of York household who is married to King Henry VII. She works her way up and becomes a lady in waiting after marrying Richard Guildford. But despite already having a ready-made family to his six children. She is frightened of childbirth. Whilst visiting her mother who is a companion to Lady Margaret Beaufort. She visits the Tower of Lo
Jan 04, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arcs
I would like to thank netgalley and HarperCollins UK for a free copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

Set during the early reign of Henry VII, this book follows Joan Vaux, a lady in waiting to Elisabeth of York.

It's an interesting time period and I loved her fascination with the ravens of the Tower of London. I had a little trouble connecting to her character.
Emma Shaw
Jan 07, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This decadent and delightful novel transported me back in time to Tudor England. Henry VII has just taken the throne and his reign is still tenuous, under threat from Yorkists who see him as a usurper. The story takes us through the next sixteen years of his reign as they navigate conspiracies and try to establish the Tudor dynasty. It is narrated by Joan Vaux, an intelligent, independent young woman who is also the closest servant and friend of Elizabeth of York, Henry’s queen. Ravens are immed ...more
Prince Philip Hospital  Library Book Club
This was the first book we read during the COVID crisis, we discussed it using the GoodReads private group we have set up. Unfortunately this didn't work as well as hoped so this review might be a little shorter than normal.

We had a little discussion about the style of language which some people felt was a little too modern so felt slightly odd. Others found that because the style was a little more modern than other historical novels it was actually easier to get into.

There was also some discus
Samantha Owen
Jan 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Praise Joanna Hickson and great historical novel that had me intrigued from the beginning. Told from a Lady In waiting to Elizabeth of Yorks perspective. Joanna guides you through the times with her descriptive narrative. Historical figures are bought to life wonderfully. A must read for any Tudor Fiction Fan.
Karen Mace
Jan 16, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the first book I've read from this author and I'm already itching to read her other historical offerings, as I found this to be both absorbing and informative and loved finding out even more about the Tudor period and the characters surrounding the court of King Henry VII's. And with the story of Joan being so captivating and full of material, I was instantly transported back as this story takes us chronologically through the goings on at a very interesting period of history.

Joan becomes
Jeannie Zelos
Jan 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Lady of the Ravens, Joanna Hickson

Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews

Genre: historical

I loved this, it was a book I savoured over several sittings, not devoured in one go. I find for me that works better with historical reads, gives me time to mull over events, to think about the characters and actions, with them being so far from how we live now.

I really enjoyed the day to day bits, what they wore, what they ate, Joan chatting to her friend in the sewing trade, what each person did in th
Cheryl M-M
Jan 19, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Where there are Plantagenets, Yorks, and eventually the Tudors - there will be suspicion, death, murder so wicked and mystery. British history is one big boiling pot of intrigue. When it comes to writing historical fiction within the setting of said history it's important to get the balance between fact and fiction just right.

Hickson not only understands how to - she does it seamlessly as if she were inviting the reader to a front row seat. You have to understand the complexity of the system, st
T.L. Clark
This book looks at the very start of the Tudor dynasty - fascinating! It drew me in like a fish on a hook.
I'm so bored of all Tudor history looking at Henry VIII or Elizabeth I. How the royal house started is intriguing yet neglected. Enter Henry VII.

The Lady of the Ravens is clearly very well researched, and I praise that. Lady Vaux was indeed a real person in the queen's household. And she did marry Lord Guildford.
But herein lies my issue - it then reads more like a historical account rather
Sarah W 🍂🍁🌧🌬
Historical fiction, especially set around the Plantagenet and Tudor eras are my favourite books to read so I was delighted to be approved to read this Arc, thank you to Netgalley and Harper Collins UK for this copy in exchange for an honest review.

I really enjoyed the first two thirds of this book, the character of Joan is an interesting portrayal of a woman at this time. She is strong willed, and strong minded and even though its a male dominated world she wants to be in control of her own dest
Shaz Goodwin
Feb 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

I enjoy historical fiction that weaves around facts and even more so when the story features a woman from history who had once been important but is now mostly forgotten. Joanna Hickson brings not only this tumultuous time in history to life but she makes Joan very relatable in this first story of the Queens of the Tower series.

Joan (baptised Giovanna) Vaux held key positions in the Tudor court – lady-in-waiting to Elizabeth of York, Lady Governess to Prin
Jen Burrows
Lady of the Ravens is an interesting historical novel, set in the reign of Henry VII. Featuring many of the key players in 15th century England, Hickson offers a straightforward fictional foray into the genesis of the Tudor monarchy, with all its power struggles and personal frictions.

While I enjoyed the detail of day to day life in the early Tudor court, and the interesting facts Hickson weaves in, I was a little underwhelmed by the narrative. Although following chronological history, the story
Maartje Volder
Feb 07, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really like how these stories have a base in truth and are told as nice tales. Joanna gathers the storyline and knits a tale from it. You get to enjoy a book and might learn a bit as well. The indirectness of her history lessons also gives it a nice view. It gives the reader a nice view of the play instead of being the main character.
Only downside that I had was the time jumps. In the first few chapters, the pace is very constant. In later chapters we start to jump and with jump it mean years.
Oct 29, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had mixed feelings about this book. Although it's about a period I like and well enough written, I reached the end and thought "so what?". There were no new insights or ideas about the characters that are not covered already by Phillipa Gregory or Hilary Mantel during the next reign.
There were a few bits of lurid prose and some errors - surely cloth of gold is well, gold, not white or varied colours ?
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Joanna Hickson became fascinated with history when she studied Shakespeare's history plays at school. However, having taken a degree in Politics and English she took up a career in broadcast journalism with the BBC, presenting and producing news, current affairs and arts programmes on both television and radio. Now she writes full time and has a contract with Harper Collins for three historical no ...more

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Queens of the Tower (2 books)
  • The Queen’s Lady (Queens of the Tower, Book 2)

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