Joanna Stafford is looking for peace and order, and found it in the priory of Dartford, amongst the Dominican nuns there. Until her cousin Margaret Stafford is arrested for her role in the Pilgrimage of Grace, and Joanna's loyalty to her cousin means she runs away to London to ensure she receives proper rites and burial. An unpleasant surprise, though, lands Joanna in the dreaded Tower under suspicion of treason. Given her Stafford blood and Spanish ties, she knows she has little chance, until the wily Bishop Gardiner makes her an offer- find a relic of unimaginable power that hides in her convent, and it can help break the Reformation and dissolution of the monasteries...
I did like this book, for the most part. It is one of those lovely Tudor Era books that doesn't focus heavily on the court itself and the wives, set as Jane Seymour dies and they cast about for an alliance wife. (Much like a trophy wife, but with armies and gold brought to the marriage.)
That said, I actually deeply enjoyed how she made the setting work, setting up a complex tapestry that worked wonderfully and showed the nuances of the world, with the court and well-worn settings on the fringes, and showcasing familiar characters as cameos.
Also, research! For the most part, it works, using what is known and filling in gaps- there were a few moments I kind of "...Eh?" and there are a few places where she clearly had to make a stand on a debate, which tends to slide on the "Rule of Drama" ends, but overall, I think it held up. (I need to finish the series, I think, before I make a judgement, but as a "research and read" reader, I have one or two slight "...Er." moments. In this book, I just went, "Um, wasn't it Hugh Capet's father who sent over the relics?"
So going to get the sequel ASAP.