Review & Giveaway: The Blue by Nancy Bilyeau

The Blue by Nancy Bilyeau

Publication Date: December 3, 2018
Endeavour Quill
Paperback & eBook; 430 Pages

Genre: Historical Fiction

In eighteenth century London, porcelain is the most seductive of commodities; fortunes are made and lost upon it. Kings do battle with knights and knaves for possession of the finest pieces and the secrets of their manufacture.

For Genevieve Planché, an English-born descendant of Huguenot refugees, porcelain holds far less allure; she wants to be an artist, a painter of international repute, but nobody takes the idea of a female artist seriously in London. If only she could reach Venice.

When Genevieve meets the charming Sir Gabriel Courtenay, he offers her an opportunity she can’t refuse; if she learns the secrets of porcelain, he will send her to Venice. But in particular, she must learn the secrets of the colour blue…

The ensuing events take Genevieve deep into England’s emerging industrial heartlands, where not only does she learn about porcelain, but also about the art of industrial espionage.

With the heart and spirit of her Huguenot ancestors, Genevieve faces her challenges head on, but how much is she willing to suffer in pursuit and protection of the colour blue?

My Review


Well my reading year just kicked off with a BANG! Nancy Bilyeau has truly written a masterpiece of a novel! It has everything I look for in a good historical fiction novel - to be education yet entertained, to be taken back in time and immersed in a new world, and I loved every minute I spent within the pages.

Genevieve is a young Hugenot woman living in England who yearns to become a painter in a time where women were not welcome.

"We are females that do not fit into the world we must live in."

Faced with a unwanted future she takes the opportunity to cahnge her circumstances by accepting a proposition from a mysterious, yet influential man.

Genevieve is bold, clever, and passionate about what she wants and is adamant on getting it. She was quite the character! Naive at times, but a woman good at heart and ardent on pursuing her love of art.

The sights, the smells, the gritty of 18th century London is brought to glorious life under the master hand of Nancy Bilyeau.

One thing that I really loved was how it kept me guessing, unsure of how it would all pan out at the end. Which made it easy to fly through the pages!

If you're looking for a fascinating look into the porcelain craze of the 18th century and the quest to find the color blue, I highly recommend this book. It has over 130 five star reviews on Goodreads, so I'm not the only one that found it exceptional. Do yourself a favor and pick up a copy! You can thank me later :)

Available on Amazon and other retailers

Praise for The Blue

A Goodreads’ Recommended Choice for Historical Novel in December 2018 Newslette and a BookBub Editors' Choice/New Releases

"Nancy Bilyeau, whose wonderful Crown trilogy I hugely enjoyed, has just published a new novel, The Blue, which I highly recommend." – Alison Weir

"Historical fans will be well satisfied." - Publishers Weekly

"...transports the reader into the heart of the 18th century porcelain trade—where the price of beauty was death." - E.M. Powell, author of the Stanton & Barling medieval mystery series.

"Bilyeau is an impressive talent who brings to life a heart-stopping story of adventure, art and espionage during the Seven Years War." - Stephanie Dray, bestselling author of My Dear Hamilton

"With rich writing, surprising twists, and a riveting sense of 'you are there,' The Blue is spine-tingling entertainment." – Gayle Lynds, New York Times bestselling author of The Assassins

About the Author

Nancy Bilyeau is the author of the historical thriller "The Blue" and the Tudor mystery series "The Crown," "The Chalice," and "The Tapestry," on sale in nine countries. She is a magazine editor who has lived in the United States and Canada.

In "The Blue," Nancy draws on her own heritage as a Huguenot. She is a direct descendant of Pierre Billiou, a French Huguenot who immigrated to what was then New Amsterdam (later New York City) in 1661. Nancy's ancestor, Isaac, was born on the boat crossing the Atlantic, the St. Jean de Baptiste. Pierre's stone house still stands and is the third oldest house in New York State.

Nancy, who studied History at the University of Michigan, has worked on the staffs of "InStyle," "Good Housekeeping," and "Rolling Stone." She is currently the deputy editor of the Center on Media, Crime and Justice at the Research Foundation of CUNY and a regular contributor to "Town & Country" and "The Vintage News."

Nancy's mind is always in past centuries but she currently lives with her husband and two children in New York City.

Connect with Nancy Bilyeau
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Blog Tour Schedule

Wednesday, January 9
Review at A Bookish Affair

Thursday, January 10
Review at 100 Pages a Day

Friday, January 11
Review at Passages to the Past

Saturday, January 12
Interview at Passages to the Past

Sunday, January 13
Interview at V.S. Kemanis

Monday, January 14
Review at Let Them Read Books

Tuesday, January 15
Review at Historical Fiction with Spirit

Wednesday, January 16
Excerpt at Umut Reviews

Thursday, January 17
Review at Reading the Past

Friday, January 18
Review at Tar Heel Reader


During the Blog Tour we will be giving away an eBook of The Blue by Nancy Bilyeau! To enter, please use the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on January 18th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open internationally.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

The Blue


  1. Fantastic review I loved this one too, such a great read!

    1. Thanks so much, Nicki! I'm so glad that you enjoyed it too!

  2. Definitely a masterpiece! It blew my mind and made to my list of most favorite books read in 2018: - click on the cover to read my review

  3. I was in the middle of reading this one (after buying it at a really good price) when I got an ARC for a book that is being published tomorrow (I think), so I took a break from it. But I'm going straight back as soon as I finish "The Only Woman in the Room"


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