The Chalice - Nancy Bilyeau

Title: The Chalice
Author: Nancy Bilyeau
Pages: 496
Published: 2013
Challenges: Historical Fiction, Chunkster
Genre: Historical Fiction
Edition: Hardcover
Source: Library

Description: The Chalice' is a historical thriller told from the point of view of a young woman caught in the crosswinds of time: She has pledged to become a Dominican nun in an England ruled by Henry VIII, who has ruthlessly smashed his country's allegiance to Rome. By 1538, the bloody power struggles between crown and cross 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. 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. As she struggles to forge a life for herself in a country that rejects her faith, she must also decide if her future should be shared with a man--and if so, which of the two men who love her should be chosen.

Thoughts: I felt that it took awhile for the story to get going, but once I was able to get into the rhythm of the story, I was able to get into the story.  It was a nice follow-up to The Crow and it made me wanting to see if there will be a follow-up to this book, as I am curious as to what happens to the various characters.  I liked the intrigue that surrounded the story.

Bottom line: Overall, it was a pretty good book and am looking forward to see if she writes a sequel to this particular book.  While it is good as a stand-alone, it is useful to read The Crown beforehand to get a sense of not only the characters but of the story line.  I would recommend this book to those that enjoy historical fiction and those that enjoyed the first book.

Rating: 4/5

Pages for 2013: 8412

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