Exciting new historical fiction based on the actual diary of the real life heroine.
The Lady of the Tower
by Elizabeth St. John
Publication Date: January 30, 2016
eBook & Paperback; 246 Pages
Genre: Historical Fiction
Orphaned Lucy St.John, described as “the most beautiful of all,” defies English society by carving her own path through the decadent Stuart court. In 1609, the early days of the rule of James I are a time of glittering pageantry and cutthroat ambition, when the most dangerous thing one can do is fall in love . . . or make an enemy of Frances Howard, the reigning court beauty. Lucy catches the eye of the Earl of Suffolk, but her envious sister Barbara is determined to ruin her happiness. Exiling herself from the court, Lucy has to find her own path through life, becoming mistress of the Tower of London.
Riding the coattails of the king’s favorite, the Duke of Buckingham, the fortunes of the St.Johns rise to dizzying heights. But with great wealth comes betrayal, leaving Lucy to fight for her survival—and her honor—in a world of deceit and debauchery. Elizabeth St.John tells this dramatic story of love, betrayal, family bonds and loyalty through the eyes of her ancestor Lucy and her family’s surviving diaries, letters and court papers.
“Elizabeth St.John has brought the early Stuart Court in the years before the English Civil War vividly to life.” – Historical Novel Society Review
“Elizabeth St.John offers great drama and intrigue in her compelling debut novel The Lady of the Tower.” – M.K. Tod, author of Lies Told in Silence
“The Lady of the Tower is a good combination of a historical romance that is well researched, with the added spice of the author being directly related to the heroine.” – Tobsha Learner, best-selling author of The Witch of Cologne
Elizabeth St.John was brought up in England and lives in California. To inform her writing, she has tracked down family papers and sites from Nottingham Castle, Lydiard Park, and the British Library to Castle Fonmon and The Tower of London. Although the family sold a few castles and country homes along the way (it’s hard to keep a good castle going these days), Elizabeth’s family still occupy them – in the form of portraits, memoirs, and gardens that carry their imprint. And the occasional ghost. But that’s a different story…
Elizabeth is currently writing a sequel to The Lady of the Tower, following the fortunes of the St.John family during the English Civil War. The working title is “By Love Divided”, and it is due to publish in early 2017.
Blog Tour Schedule
Tuesday, August 9
Review, Excerpt & Giveaway at The Silver Dagger Scriptorium
Wednesday, August 10
Review at A Holland Reads
Thursday, August 11
Review at Book Nerd
Saturday, August 13
Review at 100 Pages a Day
Sunday, August 14
Review at Svetlana’s Reads and Views
MY TAKE: This book had me hooked from the very first page. The author did a masterful job of pulling the reader directly into Lucy St. John’s 17th century England. What initially intrigued me was the fact that the author is a descendant of Lucy and the story is spiced with details taken directly from her actual diary and other family papers.
The descriptive writing and meticulous research combine to allow the reader to actually jump into the story and live it through Lucy’s eyes. Her struggles with her upbringing, her marriage and her rise to becoming The Lady of the Tower are laid out for us to follow her journey. I found the book to be highly entertaining as well as enlightening as this woman was obviously far ahead of her time. She didn’t neatly follow or fall into the roles that were expected of a woman of that era. She paved the way for those to come, even if it did take decades to come to fruition.
I highly recommend this book to all fans of historical fiction and strong women protagonists. It is one of those stories that will grab you and not let you go, even after you’re done with the book. I’m very much looking forward to the sequel next year. **I received a copy of the book from the author and Amy at Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.
~~~~~ Disclaimer: All opinions expressed on this blog are 100% my own. I do not receive monetary compensation for my reviews but do utilize affiliate links. I may receive books in order to facilitate a review, but this does not guarantee a good review – only a completely honest one. Each review post denotes how I obtained the book.