Every Sunday Tanzanite highlights books that will be released during the upcoming week. She hopes you will find something you will enjoy!
Imperial Scandal by Teresa Grant. I originally had this with an April release date but looks like it was released a little earlier on March 27, 2012 (in the US and UK).
Amid the treachery of war and the whirl of revelry, no one is what they seem. . .
Nights filled with lavish balls. . .lush, bucolic afternoons. . .. Removed to glamorous Brussels in the wake of Napoleon's escape from Elba, Intelligence Agent Malcolm Rannoch and his wife, Suzanne, warily partake in the country's pleasures. But with the Congress of Vienna in chaos and the Duke of Wellington preparing for battle, the festivities are cut short when Malcolm is sent on a perilous mission that unravels a murderous world of espionage. . .
No one knows what the demure and respectable Lady Julia Ashton was doing at the château where Malcolm and a fellow British spy were ambushed. But now her enigmatic life has been ended by an equally mysterious death. And as the conflict with Napoleon marches toward Waterloo, and Brussels surrenders to bedlam, Suzanne and Malcolm will be plunged into the search for the truth--revealing an intricate labyrinth of sinister secrets and betrayal within which no one can be trusted. . .
A Companion and Guide to the Norman Conquest by Peter Bramley. Non-fiction. UK release April 1, 2012.
1066 is the one date in British history that every schoolchild knows. The victory of William the Conqueror over King Harold at Hastings, and the subsequent imposition of Norman rule over the whole of England and Wales, effectively marked the creation of the country as we know it today. A surprising number of historic sites from this turbulent period survive: battlefields, castles, churches, monasteries. Peter Bramley’s beautifully illustrated field guide and companion to the Norman Conquest gives full details of both the events and the personalities associated with each of these sites, together with the historical background and the reasons for the end of Anglo-Saxon rule. Arranged by region, it covers England, Wales and Normandy, and provides invaluable information for anyone visiting or planning to visit any of the sites connected with the Conquest, as well as anyone interested in the history of this period in general.
Empress of the Seven Hills by Kate Quinn. US release April 3, 2012 (will be released in the UK in July as Empress of Rome)
From the national bestselling author of Daughters of Rome and Mistress of Rome comes a tale of love, power, and intrigue spanning the wilds of the Empire to the seven hills of Rome.
Powerful, prosperous, and expanding ever farther into the untamed world, the Roman Empire has reached its zenith under the rule of the beloved Emperor Trajan. But neither Trajan nor his reign can last forever...
Brash and headstrong, Vix is a celebrated ex-gladiator returned to Rome to make his fortune. The sinuous, elusive Sabina is a senator's daughter who craves adventure. Sometimes lovers, sometimes enemies, Vix and Sabina are united by their devotion to Trajan. But others are already maneuvering in the shadows. Trajan's ambitious Empress has her own plans for Sabina. And the aristocratic Hadrian-the Empress's ruthless protégé and Vix's mortal enemy-has ambitions he confesses to no one, ambitions rooted in a secret prophecy.
When Trajan falls, the hardened soldier, the enigmatic empress, the adventurous girl, and the scheming politician will all be caught in a deadly whirlwind of desire and death that may seal their fates, and that of the entire Roman Empire...
The Flower Reader by Elizabeth Loupas. US release April 3, 2012 (will be released in the UK in June 2012).
But Rinette makes a terrible mistake - she cannot resist showing it to her beloved young husband, before consigning the casket to its hiding place. This fatal decision will lead them into a maze of conspiracy and murder, in which they - and the beautiful castle by the sea, which is Rinette's inheritance - become the targets of ruthless men who seek to possess the casket at all costs.
Unable to tell friend from foe at court, and desperate to protect the queen's secrets, Rinette has one powerful weapon which may save her - the ancient art of floramancy, through which she can interpret the language of flowers and sometimes predict the future. But if the flowers should stay silent, who can she trust then?
Queen of the Conqueror: The Life of Matilda, Wife of William I by Tracy Borman. Non-fiction. US release April 3, 2012 (was released in the UK in September 2011).
Around the year 1049, William, Duke of Normandy and future conqueror of England, raced to the palace of Baldwin V, Count of Flanders. The count’s eldest daughter, Matilda, had refused William’s offer of marriage and publicly denounced him as a bastard. Encountering the young woman, William furiously dragged her to the ground by her hair and beat her mercilessly. Matilda’s outraged father immediately took up arms on his daughter’s behalf. But just a few days later, Baldwin was aghast when Matilda, still recovering from the assault, announced that she would marry none but William, since “he must be a man of great courage and high daring” to have ventured to “come and beat me in my own father’s palace.”
Thus began the tempestuous marriage of Matilda of Flanders and William the Conqueror. While William’s exploits and triumphs have been widely chronicled, his consort remains largely overlooked. Now, in her groundbreaking Queen of the Conqueror, acclaimed author and historian Tracy Borman weaves together a comprehensive and illuminating tapestry of this noble woman who stood only four-foot-two and whose role as the first crowned Queen of England had a large and lasting influence on the English monarchy.
From a wealth of historical artifacts and documents, Matilda emerges as passionate, steadfast, and wise, yet also utterly ruthless and tenacious in pursuit of her goals, and the only person capable of taming her formidable husband—who, unprecedented for the period, remained staunchly faithful to her. This mother of nine, including four sons who went on to inherit William’s French and English dominions, confounded the traditional views of women in medieval society by seizing the reins of power whenever she had the chance, directing her husband’s policy, and at times flagrantly disobeying his orders.
Tracy Borman lays out Matilda’s remarkable story against one of the most fascinating and transformative periods in European history. Stirring, richly detailed, and wholly involving, Queen of the Conqueror reveals not just an extraordinary figure but an iconic woman who shaped generations, and an era that cast the essential framework for the world we know today.
A priceless jewel. A royal court rife with intrigue. A secret deal, where the price of truth could come too high . . .
The personal artist to King Henry Tudor, Susanna Horenbout is sought by the queen and ladies of the court for her delicate, skilled portraits. But now someone from her past is pulling her into a duplicitous game where the consequence of failure is war. Soon, Susanna and her betrothed, the King’s most dangerous courtier, are unraveling a plot that would shatter Europe. And at the heart of it is a magnificent missing diamond. . . .
With John Parker at her side, Susanna searches for the diamond and those responsible for its theft, their every step dogged by a lethal assassin. Finding the truth means plunging into the heart of the court’s most bitter infighting, surviving the harrowing labyrinth of Fleet Prison—and then coming face-to-face with the most dangerous enemy of all.
A luscious historical novel set during the tumultuous reign of the last Tsar of Russia For almost a century, Imperial Russia has captivated the imagination. The love affair between Nicholas II and Alexandra, the sickly heir to the throne, the influence of the enigmatic Rasputin on Russia and its Court, the Bolshevik Uprising that changed the face of history, the ruthless execution of the royal family, and the disputed survival of the heir: it s a cinematic chaos that the masterful Dora Levy Mossanen unravels for the reader. Seen through the eyes of Darya, Imperial Russia bursts into life. When the murderous events of 1917-18 unfold, Darya is haunted by the prophecy made by the Empress s advisor, Rasputin, and the hints to her true identity. She must find the missing Tsarevich Alexis Romanov and restore the monarchy, if she is to save herself. As in her previous novels, Mossanen draws on dramatic political history, romance, folklore to create a seductive tale of intrigue, love, sex, murder, violence and retribution.
Behind the legend, there was a man.
In 1120 the wife of a Norman draper's merchant gave birth to a baby boy in London's bustling Cheapside. Despite his sickly constitution, middle-class background and unremarkable abilities, he rose within the space of thirty-five years to become the most powerful man in the kingdom, second only to Henry II himself.
At his height, he led seven hundred knights into battle, brokered peace between nations, held the ear of the Pope and brought one of the strongest rulers in Christendom to his knees. And within three years of his bloody assassination, he was a saint whose cult had spread the length and breadth of Europe, and a legend who remains as controversial and compelling today as he was during his life.
The story of Thomas Becket is the story of an enigma, as well as of one of the most tumultuous periods in English history. Drawing on a vast array of contemporary records, personal letters and first-hand accounts, John Guy has reconstructed a psychologically compelling, stunningly nuanced and utterly convincing account of this most remarkable man, the dramatic times in which he lived and the pivotal role he played in his nation's history.