I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Lady of the Ravens (Queens of the Tower, Book 1) by Joanna Hickson
Published by HarperCollins on January 9, 2020
Genres: Fiction, Historical, General, Medieval, Renaissance, Romance, Tudor
Source: NetGalley, Publisher
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‘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, straining against marriage and motherhood and privy to the deepest and darkest secrets of her queen. Like the ravens, Joan must use her eyes and her senses, as conspiracy whispers through the dark corridors of the Tower.
Through Joan’s eyes, The Lady of the Ravens inhabits the squalid streets of Tudor London, the imposing walls of its most fearsome fortress and the glamorous court of a kingdom in crisis.
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 would have benefitted from a faster pace.
Our protagonist, Joan Guildford was an honourable friend and a lady in waiting for Queen Elizabeth during the time of King Henry VII’s reign. Her ultimate role was to guide the Queen through the many challenges that she would ultimately face being the Queen. The births and deaths of children – giving Joan a standpoint in which she knew she wouldn’t want to be married or have children. This was an extremely rare and misunderstood viewpoint that others couldn’t get their head around. I admired her. Her strength and singular capability is what drew me immediately into her corner. She was a force to be reckoned with.
The Tudor era which was the focus in The Lady of Ravens is time that I am extremely unfamiliar with. I got excited by a lot of the imagery. It was skilfully and visually painted into my vision. Anyone that knows me, knows that I am obsessed with anything medieval and castles. The gender roles contained within the pages meant that the events that Joan was involved with were generally unexciting and a lot ended up happening behind the scenes.
For a book that is titled, The Lady Of Ravens I would have loved to have Joan’s obsession with the birds delved into deeper. I never thought that it was investigated fully, and I felt myself pulling towards answers, wanting more, why was she so enraptured with the birds? The author never really gave me the reasoning that I was requiring, and I was a bit disappointed.
The Lady of Ravens was an enjoyable read but I did close the book thinking that a lot of it fell flat for me. Information that wasn’t required, storylines that seemed to be dragged on for the sake of it. I enjoyed the writing style and I did fall in love with the descriptive nature of the authors work. I just wanted a more direct journey to the conclusion rather than a roundabout trip that felt at times, unnecessary.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Joanna Hickson was born in England but spent her early childhood in Australia, returning at thirteen to visit her first castle and fall in love with medieval history. During a twenty-five year career at the BBC, presenting and producing News and Arts programmes for TV and Radio, Joanna also published a children’s historical novel, Rebellion at Orford Castle. She now writes adult fiction full-time, indulging her passion for bringing the medieval past and its characters to life. Joanna warns that she spends much of her life in the fifteenth century and even her Wiltshire farmhouse home dates back to that period.
Joanna’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/joannahickson
Joanna Hickson is represented at Jenny Brown Associates by Jenny. For all enquiries contact firstname.lastname@example.org