The Chalice by Nancy Bilyeau
A Novel

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In the midst of England’s Reformation, a young novice will risk everything to defy the most powerful men of her era.

In 1538, England’s bloody power struggle between crown and cross threatens to tear the country apart. Novice Joanna Stafford has tasted the wrath of the royal court, discovered what lies within the king’s torture rooms, and escaped death at the hands of those desperate to possess the power of an ancient relic.

Even with all she has experienced, the quiet life is not for Joanna. Despite the possibilities of arrest and imprisonment, she becomes caught up in a shadowy international plot targeting Henry VIII himself. As the power plays turn vicious, Joanna realizes her role is more critical than she’d ever imagined. She must choose between those she loves most and assuming her part in a prophecy foretold by three seers. Repelled by violence, Joanna seizes a future with a man who loves her. But no matter how hard she tries, she cannot escape the spreading darkness of her destiny.

To learn the final, sinister piece of the prophecy, she flees across Europe with a corrupt spy sent by Spain. As she completes the puzzle in the dungeon of a twelfth-century Belgian fortress, Joanna realizes the life of Henry VIII as well as the future of Christendom are in her hands—hands that must someday hold the chalice that lies at the center of these deadly prophecies. . . .

About Nancy Bilyeau

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Nancy Bilyeau is a writer and magazine editor who has worked on the staffs of InStyle, Rolling Stone, Entertainment Weekly, and Good Housekeeping. She lives in New York City with her husband and two children. Visit
Published March 5, 2013 by Touchstone. 496 pages
Genres: History, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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A historical novel set during the time of Henry VIII.

Dec 17 2012 | Read Full Review of The Chalice: A Novel


Just when I thought it would be a long while before I'd read another Tudor period novel- here comes Bilyeau's THE CHALICE to remind me that when the writing is exceptional, excitement brings about novelty.

Apr 26 2013 | Read Full Review of The Chalice: A Novel

Open Letters Monthly

Historical novelist Nancy Bilyeau has already given readers one novel featuring headstrong and well-born Dominican nun Joanna Stafford, in 2012′s The Crown, which was justly praised as a dark, atmospheric, character-driven historical thriller, a Tudor-era novel of rare depth.

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The Best Reviews

The year is 1538 and Joanna is trying to .

Apr 16 2013 | Read Full Review of The Chalice: A Novel

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