Tuesday 14 January 2020

#BlogTour The Lady of the Ravens by Joanna Hickson

Today it's a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour The Lady of the Ravens by Joanna Hickson.
About the Author
'My baptismal name may be Giovanna but here in my mother’s adopted country I have become plain Joan; I am not pink-cheeked and golden-haired like the beauties they admire. I have olive skin and dark features – black brows over ebony eyes and hair the colour of a raven’s wing…'

When Joan Vaux is sent to live in the shadow of the Tower of London, she must learn to navigate the treacherous waters of this new England under the Tudors. Like the ravens, Joan must use her eyes and her senses, if Henry and his new dynasty are to prosper and thrive …

About the book
Joanna Hickson spent twenty-five years presenting and producing News and Arts programmes for the BBC. Her first published book was a children’s historical novel Rebellion at Orford Castle but more recently she has turned to adult fiction, concentrating on bringing fifteenth century English history and some of its fascinating principal characters to life. She is married with a large family and gets inspiration from her Wiltshire farmhouse home, which dates back to her chosen period.

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, structure, culture and people to be able to portray the ever-changing game of loyalty and thrones, which changed as easily as the direction of the wind.

Joan Vaux doesn't fear the Tower or the ravens others openly despise and try to eradicate. Instead she faces her duties and the complicated hierarchy of lineage, loyalty and royalty head on. Make no mistake though, she does it with her own safety and that of her family in mind. Although the expectation of bending the knee and accepting decisions made by others without her consent isn't something she swallows without complaint.

It's historical fiction - a mystery interwoven with myth and intrigue. I really loved the way Hickson wove the legend of the ravens of the Tower of London into this story - she pays tribute to the incredibly clever corvids the silent symbols of the Crown.

Joan Vaux played a pivotal role in history when Henry VIII started on his path of the many merry wives, although one could argue that her words fell on empty ears at the time because it didn't fit the agenda. Like many women in history who are relegated to stagehand positions in the retelling of history, her position gave her access and opportunity to influence. The author lets that aspect play out in this story, which may appear to be underwhelming, but is much more in keeping with the era, and her position in  the household and lack of power.

Buy The Lady of the Ravens at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher HQ - HarperCollins, pub date 9th January 2020 | Hardback | Ebook | Audio | £14.99. Buy at Amazon com.

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