Every Sunday Tanzanite highlights books that will be released during the upcoming week. She hopes you will find something you will enjoy!
Four Sisters, All Queens by Sherry Jones. US and UK release May 8, 2012.
Amid the lush valleys and fragrant wildflowers of Provence, Marguerite, Eléonore, Sanchia, and Beatrice have learned to charm, hunt, dance, and debate under the careful tutelage of their ambitious mother—and to abide by the countess’s motto: “Family comes first.”
With Provence under constant attack, their legacy and safety depend upon powerful alliances. Marguerite’s illustrious match with the young King Louis IX makes her Queen of France. Soon Eléonore—independent and daring—is betrothed to Henry III of England. In turn, shy, devout Sanchia and tempestuous Beatrice wed noblemen who will also make them queens.
Yet a crown is no guarantee of protection. Enemies are everywhere, from Marguerite’s duplicitous mother-in-law to vengeful lovers and land-hungry barons. Then there are the dangers that come from within, as loyalty succumbs to bitter sibling rivalry, and sister is pitted against sister for the prize each believes is rightfully hers—Provence itself.
From the treacherous courts of France and England, to the bloody tumult of the Crusades, Sherry Jones traces the extraordinary true story of four fascinating sisters whose passions, conquests, and progeny shaped the course of history.
The Plantagenets: The Kings Who Made England by Dan Jones. Non-fiction. UK release May 10, 2012 (Amazon shows a US release date of May 1, 2012 but also that is can be pre-ordered).
Eight generations of the greatest and worst kings and queens that this country has ever seen -- from the White Ship to the Lionheart, bad King John to the Black Prince and John of Gaunt -- this is the dynasty that invented England as we still know it today -- great history to appeal to readers of Ken Follet, Bernard Cornwell, and Tom Holland.
The Plantagenets inherited a bloodied, broken kingdom from the Normans, and set about expanding royal rule until it stretched at its largest from the Scottish lowlands to the Pyrenees, and from the Ireland to the foothills of the Holy Roman Empire. At the same time, they developed aspects of English law, government, architecture, art and folklore that survive to this day. Despite all this, and having reigned for twice as long as their eventual successors, the Tudors, the Plantagenets remain relatively unknown.
In this gripping, vivid new book, Dan Jones brings the Plantagenets and their world back to life. This is both an epic narrative history of the 'high' Middle Ages, and a spellbinding portrait of a family blessed and cursed in equal measure. 'The Plantagenets' sweeps from Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine's creation of a European empire to Richard the Lionheart's heroic Third Crusade and King John's humbling under Magna Carta. It explores the beginning of parliament under Henry III. It charts the fierce rule of Edward Longshanks, who conquered Wales and subdued Scotland but could never come to terms with his own son, the ill-fated Edward II. The book comes to an exciting climax in the age of chivalry, as Edward III saw England triumph in the Hundred Years War while plague stalked Europe, before the Black Prince and his beautiful princess Joan of Kent raised a son, Richard II, who would come to destroy the Plantagenet legacy. It is a compelling, fascinating journey through Britain's most spectacular age.
The Tainted Throne by Alex Rutherford. UK release May 10, 2012.
The brutal battle for power continues in the fourth book in the epic Empire of the Moghul series.
Agra, India, 1606. Jahangir, the triumphant Moghul Emperor and ruler of most of the Indian subcontinent, is doomed. No amount of wealth and ruthlessness can protect him from his sons' desire for power. The glorious Moghul throne is worth any amount of bloodshed and betrayal; once Jahangir raised troops against his own father; now he faces a bloody battle with Khurram, the ablest of his warring sons.
Worse is to come. Just as the heirs of Timur the Great share intelligence, physical strength and utter ruthlessness, they also have a great weakness for wine and opium. Once Jahangir is tempted, his talented wife, Mehrunissa, is only too willing to take up the reins of empire. And with Khurram and his half-brothers each still determined to be their father's heir, the savage battle for the Moghul throne will be more ferocious than even Timur could have imagined...
Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel. US release May 8, 2012; UK release May 10, 2012.
The sequel to the Man Booker-winning Wolf Hall.
‘My boy Thomas, give him a dirty look and he’ll gouge your eye out. Trip him, and he’ll cut off your leg,’ says Walter Cromwell in the year 1500. ‘But if you don’t cut across him he’s a very gentleman. And he’ll stand anyone a drink.’
By 1535 Thomas Cromwell, the blacksmith’s son, is far from his humble origins. Chief Minister to Henry VIII, his fortunes have risen with those of Anne Boleyn, Henry’s second wife, for whose sake Henry has broken with Rome and created his own church. But Henry’s actions have forced England into dangerous isolation, and Anne has failed to do what she promised: bear a son to secure the Tudor line. When Henry visits Wolf Hall, Cromwell watches as Henry falls in love with the silent, plain Jane Seymour. The minister sees what is at stake: not just the king’s pleasure, but the safety of the nation. As he eases a way through the sexual politics of the court, its miasma of gossip, he must negotiate a ‘truth’ that will satisfy Henry and secure his own career. But neither minister nor king will emerge undamaged from the bloody theatre of Anne’s final days.
In ‘Bring up the Bodies’, sequel to the Man Booker Prize-winning ‘Wolf Hall’, Hilary Mantel explores one of the most mystifying and frightening episodes in English history: the destruction of Anne Boleyn. This new novel is a speaking picture, an audacious vision of Tudor England that sheds its light on the modern world. It is the work of one of our great writers at the height of her powers.
Wallis by Rebecca Dean. UK release May 10, 2012 (will be released in the US in August 2012 as The Shadow Queen).
Two lovers. Two very different lives.
One future together that will change history.
When debutante Wallis Simpson is growing up, she devotes her teenage daydreams to one man, the future King of England, Prince Edward. But it's Pamela Holtby, Wallis's aristocratic best friend, who mixes within the palace circle.
Wallis's first marriage to a dashing young naval pilot is not what she dreamt of; he turns out to be a dominating bully of a man, who punishes her relentlessly. But her fated marriage does open a suprising door, to the world of Navy couriers – where navy wives are being used to transport messages around the world. This interesting turn of fate takes Wallis from the exuberant social scene in Washington to a China that is just emerging from civil war.
Edward in the meantime is busy fulfilling his royal duties – and some extra-curricular ones involving married women. Until the day, just before he ascends the throne as Edward VIII, he is introduced to a very special married woman, Wallis Simpson.
Was Wallis Simpson really the monster the royal family perported her to be? Or was she an extraordinary woman who led an unimaginable life?
A dramatic novel, that crosses continents and provides a unique insight into one of history’s most charismatic and multi-faceted women.
Rebel by Jack Whyte. UK release May 10, 2012 (released in the US in February 2012 as The Forest Laird).
In the pre-dawn hours of August 24th, 1305, in London’s Smithfield Prison, the outlaw William Wallace—hero of all the Scots and deadly enemy of King Edward of England—sits awaiting the dawn, when he is to be hanged and then drawn and quartered. This brutal sundering of his body is the revenge of the English. Wallace is visited by a Scottish priest who has come to hear his last confession, a priest who knows Wallace like a brother. Wallace's confession—the tale that follows—is all the more remarkable because it comes from real life.
We follow Wallace through his many lives—as outlaw and fugitive, hero and patriot, rebel and kingmaker. His exploits and escapades, desperate struggles and victorious campaigns are all here, as are the high ideals and fierce patriotism that drove him to abandon the people he loved to save his country.
William Wallace is the first heroic figure from the Scottish Wars of Independence, a man whose fame has reached far beyond his homeland. Wallace served as a subject for the Academy Award–winning film Braveheart. In The Forest Laird, Jack Whyte’s masterful storytelling breathes life into Wallace's tale, giving readers an amazing character study of the man who helped shape Scotland’s future.