#BookReview The Queen’s Lady by Joanna Hickson @HarperFiction

The Queen's LadyAbout the Book

Can she tread a dangerous line between love and duty?

Raven-haired and fiercely independent, Joan Guildford has always remained true to herself.  As lady-in-waiting and confidante to Queen Elizabeth, wife of Henry VII, Joan understands royal patronage is vital if she and her husband, Sir Richard, are to thrive in the volatile atmosphere of court life.

But Tudor England is in mourning following the death of the Prince of Wales, and within a year, the queen herself. With Prince Henry now heir to the throne, the court murmurs with the sound of conspiracy. Is the entire Tudor project now at stake or can young Henry secure the dynasty?

Drawn into the heart of the crisis, Joan’s own life is in turmoil, and her future far from secure. She faces a stark choice – be true to her heart and risk everything, or play the dutiful servant and watch her dreams wither and die. For Joan, and for Henry’s Kingdom, everything is at stake…

Format: Hardcover (464 pages)         Publisher: HarperCollins
Publication date: 20th January 2022 Genre: Historical Fiction

Find The Queen’s Lady (Queens of the Tower, Book 2) on Goodreads

Purchase links
Bookshop.org
Disclosure: If you buy a book via the above link, I may earn a commission from Bookshop.org, whose fees support independent bookshops

Hive | Amazon UK
Links provided for convenience only, not as part of an affiliate programme


My Review

The Queen’s Lady is the second in the author’s Queens of the Tower series, the follow-up to The Lady of the Ravens which I read in 2020.

The Queen’s Lady continues the story of Joan Vaux, now Lady Joan Guildford, lady-in-waiting to the wife of Henry VII, Queen Elizabeth.  Her position in the Tudor court gives her an insight into many of the significant events of the period: the death of Prince Arthur and the replacement of Prince Henry (the future Henry VIII) as heir to the throne, and the attempts of Queen Elizabeth to produce another son. The reader also witnesses the effect of Henry VII’s increasing paranoia, the growing factional infighting and general air of distrust which eventually has personal consequences for Joan’s family, especially her husband, Sir Richard Guildford.

As well as providing an ‘insider’s view’ of historical events, such as the marriage of Henry VII’s daughter Margaret to King James IV of Scotland, Joan’s experiences shed light on many social issues such as the dangers of childbirth, the frequent death of children in infancy, the plight of the poor and women’s diminished position in society. It also demonstrates that political intrigue and a system based on preferment and patronage has been with us for centuries!

I liked the sections of the book that focused on Joan’s personal life even if, sadly, her beloved ravens are not as much in evidence as in the previous book. Although a life not without tragedy, later in life Joan is rewarded with love, companionship and a degree of independence. The Queen’s Lady is a must-read for those who like their historical fiction rich in detail and full of period atmosphere, from the lavish apartments of royal residences to the squalor of London’s Fleet prison.

I received a review copy courtesy of HarperCollins via NetGalley.

In three words: Well-researched, authentic, absorbing

Try something similar: Cecily by Annie Garthwaite

Follow this blog via Bloglovin


Joanna HicksonAbout 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 in 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 but now she is writing adult fiction full-time, indulging her passion for bringing the medieval past and its characters to life.

First inspired by Shakespeare’s history plays she began researching Catherine de Valois, Henry V’s ‘Fair Kate’, who is the subject of The Agincourt Bride and The Tudor Bride and now her interest has progressed into the Wars of the Roses which form the background to Red Rose, White Rose and the eventful life of Cicely Neville, Duchess of York and will also feature in her next two novels. As a result Joanna warns that she spends much of her life in the fifteenth century and even her Wiltshire farmhouse home dates back to that period. She is married and has an extensive family, some of which boomerang her back to Australia for visits! (Photo/bio: Publisher author page)

Connect with Joanna
Goodreads | Twitter

#PublisherSpotlight Introducing… Casemate Publishing @Casemate_UK

Today I’m delighted to be featuring Casemate Publishing and to bring you a preview of some of the exciting historical fiction they have recently published or have coming up in the next few months.

Casemate UKAbout Casemate

Casemate is one of the world’s leading publisher of military history, defence studies and military science. They are dedicated to publishing important and far-reaching military history – from ancient civilisations to modern warfare – and have a growing reputation for high-quality, informative and engaging books. Follow them on social media or sign up to their newsletter via their website.

Website | Twitter | Facebook


Recently published

CommandosCommandos: Set Europe Ablaze by Richard Camp

Summer 1943. Defeatism hangs in the air and Britain stands alone. Two US Marines are sent to the Scottish Highlands to learn from the brutal British Commando training regime, with the ultimate mission to “set Europe ablaze”.

Pitiless forced marches, dangerous live fire exercises and hazardous assault courses building their physical endurance, and a strong sense of brotherhood develops between the British soldiers and the two Marines.

Find the book on Goodreads | Buy direct from Casemate

Splinter on the TideSplinter on the Tide by Phillip Parroti

Having survived the sinking of his first ship, Ensign Ash Miller USNR is promoted and assigned to command one of the sleek new additions to “the splinter fleet,” a 110-foot wooden submarine chaser armed with only understrength guns and depth charges. His task is to bring the ship swiftly into commission, weld his untried crew into an efficient fighting unit, and take his vessel to sea in order to protect the defenceless Allied merchant vessels being sunk by German U-Boats.

Find the book on Goodreads | Buy direct from Casemate

There Was A TimeThere Was A Time by George H. Wittman

It is the summer of 1945, the last and very dangerous days of World War II. The Office of Strategic Services is in close, cooperative contact with Ho Chi Minh and the fighting cadre of the Viet Minh, working against the Japanese. In the closing months of the war, the OSS parachute a team of special operations soldiers into Tonkin, northern Vietnam.

Based on the little-known true story of American and Viet Minh collaboration in 1945, the novel challenges the accepted dogma of both those supporting and opposing the American role in the Vietnam conflict. Its contemporary relevance is a mirror of what is always the case in international affairs: today’s enemies can and may be tomorrow’s friends – and most importantly, the reverse is true also.

Find the book on Goodreads | Buy direct from Casemate


Forthcoming titles

Appointment in TehranAppointment in Tehran by James Stejskal

Tehran, 1979. While the world’s eyes are on the Embassy siege, one man has another mission – to retrieve a lost nuclear weapon. When radical Iranian students seize the U.S. Embassy compound in Tehran and take over fifty diplomats hostage the U.S. President has to negotiate with a government that wants only to humiliate the United States. When talks fail, the President must turn to the military to bring the Americans home by force. As preparations are made for an audacious rescue, an American intelligence officer hides alone in a Tehran safehouse with a secret. He is protecting a powerful weapon known as the Perses Device, which is now at risk of being captured and employed against the United States. The Agency Director orders that it must be brought out at all costs.

Read an extract from Appointment in Tehran here.

Find the book on Goodreads | Buy direct from Casemate

The Spandau ComplicationThe Spandau Complication by Bob Orkand

Hot on the heels of a dressing-down by the U.S. Commander Berlin, U.S. Army Major Harry Holbrook receives an unexpected luncheon invitation from the Soviet commandant of Spandau Prison, where the last three remaining Nazi war criminals are incarcerated. A contact in East Berlin alerts Holbrook that the Red Army faction will attempt to assassinate West Berlin Mayor Willi Brandt and the U.S. Commander at the opening of the Fifth Annual German-American Volksfest.

Set in the divided city of Berlin in the mid-1960s where recent incidents have brought the world closer to nuclear war than ever before, this debut novel brings a complex tapestry of events to a breathtaking conclusion.

Find the book on Goodreads | Buy direct from Casemate