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…The Lady of the Ravens – Joanna Hickson
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 …
I received a copy of this book from Harper Collins UK – Harper Fiction in return for an honest review.
Joan finds much of her life revolves around the Tower of London and develops an affinity with the mystical ravens who live there. They are seen by some as symbols of the monarchy’s strength, whilst many view them as pests and harbingers of death. Joan’s life collides with the ravens at many key times, Important characters and points in her life are associated with them.
This story creates an intricate tapestry of life at the time, the darkness, disease, treachery and unruliness. Historical characters are blended seamlessly with fictional ones, giving the story historical authenticity, and history an intimate drama of day to day life and iconic events.
A rich, vibrant story told from a brave woman’s point of view, who overcame her fears and obstacles of class and gender to lead a purposeful, rewarding life.
Affairs of state, family drama, the role of women and a touch of romance make this easy to read. This dramatic story lets you experience the beginning of the House of Tudors. and 15th Century English life.
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.