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All art is unstable. It's meaning is not necessarily that implied by the author, There is no authorative active voice. There are only multiple readings. David Bowie, 1995

Sunday, March 3, 2013

... intrigue and mystery, lightly held and darkly embraced

The Chalice by Nancy Bilyeau

Intrigue, persecution and mystery swirls inextricably around the life Joanna Stafford.
Prophesied over at 17, she has become a woman of secrets, of her own and of others.
She swings between penitence, fear, anger, love and hate.
Having taken up the life of a Dominican novice to find peace from her foretold destiny, all comes crashing down, along with the great religious orders at the time of the Reformation in England, under the reign of Henry VIII.
Nothing is stable. All is in flux, Joanna, her world and the fortunes of those known to her.
Seemingly at the apex of action, Joanna finds herself caught up amidst the indomitable will of Henry, religious fanaticism and a changing world order. Joanna is a pawn in the grand and frightening game of thrones, of kingdoms and world shattering religious transformations
At the mercy of powerful factions, Joanna‘s discernment as to who is enemy and who is friend is always in doubt.
Foreseen as an agent for change by the prophetess Sister Elizabeth Barton, Joanna to be named by a third seer. At that time she is supposedly to be a voice of action against Henry; Joanna is seemingly tossed from one situation to another by the fates and those who would use her. Finally she is forced by the actions of others to meet the third seer, one Master, Nostredame.
Joanna is torn between love, duty and fate. She is the loadstone drawing factions into action. She is inextricably drawn down a dangerous path not of her choosing.
Joanna’s story is a powerful reflection of horrendous times. She is a multi-faceted gem shining throughout the book. Brimming with humanity, her loves and fears become yours.
Well written this is an exciting story that I stayed up reading ‘til the wee hours of the morning.

A Netgalley ARC

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