BOOK REVIEW/BLOG TOUR: Written in Their Stars by Elizabeth St.John

Publication Date: November 19, 2019
Falcon Historical
eBook & Paperback; 384 Pages
Series: The Lydiard Chronicles, Book 3
Genre: Historical Fiction


London, 1649. Horrified eyewitnesses to King Charles’s bloody execution, Royalists Nan Wilmot and Frances Apsley plot to return the king’s exiled son to England’s throne, while their radical cousin Luce, the wife of king-killer John Hutchinson, rejoices in the new republic’s triumph. Nan exploits her high-ranking

position as Countess of Rochester to manipulate England’s great divide, flouting Cromwell and establishing a Royalist spy network; while Frances and her husband Allen join the destitute prince in Paris’s Louvre Palace to support his restoration. As the women work from the shadows to topple Cromwell’s regime, their husbands fight openly for the throne on England’s bloody battlefields.

But will the return of the king be a victory, or destroy them all? Separated by loyalty and bound by love, Luce, Nan and Frances hold the fate of England—and their family—in their hands.

A true story based on surviving memoirs of Elizabeth St.John's family, Written in their Stars is the third novel in the Lydiard Chronicles series.

My Thoughts

Written in Their Stars is the third volume of The Lydiard Chronicles Series. It follows the fortunes of the Apsleys, the Wilmots and the Hutchinsons, from the execution of Charles I (1649) through to the early years of the Restoration (1664).

The Apsleys and Wilmots are Royalists and the Hutchinsons are Parliamentarians; a family clearly divided by their political beliefs. Despite being on opposing sides, the situation is not as clear-cut as imagined, for forces far greater than the political divide come into play: love and family loyalty, and the roles of three courageous women, who align with their respective husbands to fight for the future of their country.

Luce Hutchinson, the wife of John Hutchinson who is a regicide and staunch Puritan, strongly supports the new government and encourages her husband to take a greater role under Cromwell. John, however, becomes disillusioned by the atrocities in Ireland and removes himself from Cromwell's sphere in what I felt was his personal rebellion. John's beliefs do not waver, only his opinion of Cromwell as the right man to lead the country.

Nan Wilmot, the wife of prominent Royalist Henry Wilmot, remains in England after the execution of the King, appeasing Parliament to protect her sons' inheritance while continuing to support the Royalist cause.

Frances Apsley is the wife of another prominent Royalist, Allen Apsley. She escapes with her husband and child to join other exiles in France and works towards the restoration of Charles II by joining Nan Wilmot's spy network.

Luce was not a character I warmed to as much as I did to her husband John. Knowing that as a regicide he faced a gruesome death, I was happy he'd escaped that fate, but was truly saddened when he did die. I thought John was a reasonable and honest man who, despite Luce attempting to influence him, remained resolute in the way he wanted to bring about reform.

So engrossing was this novel and the characters in it, especially Nan Wilmot and the dangerous game she played, that I felt I was a part of this family. Every triumph and every failure was like being on an emotional roller coaster, no matter which side prevailed.

Elizabeth St. John's skill as a writer and her ability to create appealing characters makes this a memorable addition to the series. Although Written in Their Stars can be read as a standalone, I recommend reading the books in sequence. I'm sure you will be as captivated and entertained as I was.

Available on Amazon | Other eRetailers

About the Author

Elizabeth St.John spends her time between California, England, and the past. An award-winning author, historian and genealogist, she has tracked down family papers and residences from Nottingham Castle, Lydiard Park, to 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...

For more information, please visit Elizabeth St. John's website. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, December 9
Review at Passages to the Past
Tuesday, December 10
Review at Jackie & Angela's Book Reviews
Wednesday, December 11
Review at Books and Zebras
Friday, December 13
Review at @ya.its.lit
Saturday, December 14
Review at Liberty's Literary Loves
Monday, December 16
Review at Red Headed Book Lady
Tuesday, December 17
Review at Impressions In Ink
Wednesday, December 18
Review at @bookishbellee
Saturday, December 21
Review at Tales from the Book Dragon
Monday, December 23
Review at Gwendalyn's Books
Friday, December 27
Review at Historical Romance Lover
Sunday, December 29
Review at 100 Pages a Day
Friday, January 3
Review at Hoover Book Reviews
Monday, January 6
Review at Reading the Past
Tuesday, January 7
Interview at Let Them Read Books
Wednesday, January 8
Review at Donna's Book Blog
Review at I'm All About Books
Thursday, January 9
Review at Historical Fiction with Spirit
Friday, January 10
Review at Broken Teepee
Review at A Darn Good Read

Giveaway (US Only)

During the Blog Tour, we are giving away two signed copies of Written in their Stars! To enter, please use the Gleam form here.

Giveaway Rules
– Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST on January 10th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Paperback giveaway is open to US residents only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspicion of fraud will be decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– The winner has 48 hours to claim prize or a new winner is chosen.


  1. Thank you so much for hosting & for this great review! We appreciate the support!

    HF Virtual Book Tours

    1. Thank you for the invitation to the blog and the impetus to read a series I'd been eying off for a long time and never got around to reading.

  2. Thank you for the lovely review, and I'm so glad you enjoyed meeting the cousins!

    1. You're welcome and, yes I did, very much!