The Tapestry

The Tapestry

Book - 2015
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The next page-turner in the award-winning Joanna Stafford series takes place in the heart of the Tudor court, as the gutsy former novice risks everything to defy the most powerful men of her era.

After her priory in Dartford is closed--collateral damage in tyrannical King Henry VIII's quest to overthrow the Catholic Church--Joanna resolves to live a quiet and honorable life weaving tapestries, shunning dangerous quests and conspiracies. Until she is summoned to Whitehall Palace, where her tapestry weaving has drawn the King's attention.

Joanna is uncomfortable serving the King whom she has twice attempted to overthrow--unbeknownst to him. She fears for her life in a court bursting with hidden agendas and a casual disregard for the virtues she holds dear. And her suspicions are confirmed when an assassin attempts to kill her moments after arriving at Whitehall.

Struggling to stay ahead of her most formidable enemy yet, an unknown one, she becomes entangled in dangerous court politics. Her dear friend Catherine Howard is rumored to be one of the King's mistresses. Joanna is determined to protect young, beautiful, naïve Catherine from becoming the King's next wife and possibly, victim.

Set in a world of royal banquets and feasts, tournament jousts, ship voyages, and Tower Hill executions, this thrilling tale finds Joanna in her most dangerous situation yet, as she attempts to decide the life she wants to live: nun or wife, spy or subject, rebel or courtier. Joanna must finally choose her fate.
Publisher: New York : Simon and Schuster, 2015.
Edition: 1st Touchstone hardcover ed.
ISBN: 9781476756370
Branch Call Number: BIL
Characteristics: 389 pages ; 24 cm.


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Jan 17, 2019

So this was better than The Chalice, but not as good as The Crown. There's a large amount of tying up loose ends from every plot bunny of the first two books. And also a large amount of men charmed by Joanna (but let's be real- Geoffrey is the only one we care about). There's more (horrid) King Henry VIII, more (pitiable) Catherine Howard, and more historic figures (like Hans Holbein) to be delighted by. There's also hope, for the first time in the series, of some sanity amid leadership and safety for the poor people of Europe. Briefly, at any rate. The very real, very human suffering of that era definitely comes through the narrative (and is nicely contrasted by the excesses of the British court).

There's also more of Joanna being attacked, and Joanna doubting her instincts (again, directly after telling herself ti trust her instincts- this chick drives me batty). And also Joanna being clever enough to poke an attacker in the eyes BUT NOT CLEVER ENOUGH TO GUESS WHO WANTS HER DEAD. Which makes no sense to me, as the list of people who would care enough to bother is short. I mean, I guessed it after the second attack, but Joanna doesn't even appear to attempt to reason it out. Brother Edmund's disappearance to Europe provides a large motive of plot, but the reasoning behind it is rather glazed over. And there was a large amount of tapestry detail missing- I was looking forward to learning more about tapestry weaving and art.

In all, this was OK. I'm glad to have finished the series out, but I wish Joanna was able to keep in her head all the skills and smarts she obtained throughout the series.

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