‘The Earl in Black Armor’ is a Master Class in Irish History [REVIEW]


Two spies fight to save their way of life in Nancy Blanton’s The Earl in Black Armor. (Photo by Canva)

Star-crossed lovers. Secret spies. An enigmatic man with a treacherous agenda. History and intrigue collide across the lush Irish landscape in Nancy Blanton’s brilliant new historical novel, The Earl in Black Armor. 


Ellys-Daughtrey Books

In 1635, Faolán Burke is sent on a secret mission that may decide the future of a centuries-old clan: to spy on one of the most formidable people in the country, the ruthless Lord Deputy Thomas Wentworth. To succeed, Foalán must dig up dirt on Wentworth so he’ll be recalled back to England before he can successfully claim lands for an English Protestant plantation which would leave Irish families homeless.

Foalán’s mission comes with sacrifices, however, including leaving his young daughter Elvy behind with his best friend Aengus and working as a porter in Dublin Castle. He must also forge new alliances, like his relationship with Wentworth’s personal assistant Denisa, who is also spying on the lord deputy for more personal reasons.

Then a common mission takes Foalán and Denisa beyond the walls of Dublin and into the highest echelons of power. In the midst of it all, their romance blossoms. But will it be  strong enough to withstand Wentworth’s growing power and treacherous plans? Find out in Nancy Blanton’s The Earl in Black Armor. 

This is my first encounter with Blanton’s work, but as a historical fiction enthusiast, I’m sure it won’t be my last. Reading her novel is like sitting in the best history class in college, one taught by a scholar who knows how to spin a yarn that titillates, fascinates, and holds our imaginations captive. She deftly transports us to Ireland where we can feel the mist rising off the land, hear the thick Irish brogue as her characters come off the page to greet us, and smell the pungent aromas that waft out of the kitchens and sometimes even off the people themselves.

Besides just being a great story, in many ways this is a master class on the political scene of the time, one which is populated by characters who are by turns altruistic and power hungry. One of the things I like best is that Blanton doesn’t paint these people as one dimensional beings, but rather reveals how complex and multifaceted they are, even as they play a high-stakes game fraught with intrigue and corruption. If you’re looking for a novel that rivals the best of Ken Follett and Edward Rutherfurd, then you won’t be disappointed with The Earl in Black Armor. Nancy Blanton delivers!

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Nancy Blanton

Nancy Blanton


Nancy Blanton writes award-winning novels based in 17th-century Irish history. Her latest, The Earl in Black Armor, tells a relentless story of loyalty, honor and betrayal in the Stuart era prior to the great Irish Rebellion of 1641. The Prince of Glencurragh, her second novel, occurs in 1634 during the English Plantation of Ireland. Her first novel, Sharavogue, is set in Ireland and the West Indies during the time of Oliver Cromwell.

In non-fiction, Brand Yourself Royally in 8 Simple Steps is also a medalist, providing a valuable personal branding guide for authors, artists, and business consultants. Her blog, My Lady’s Closet, focuses on writing, books, historical fiction, research and travel.

Ms. Blanton is a member of the Historical Novel Society and is proud to be an occasional guest author on the award-winning UK blog, Myths, Legends, Books & Coffee Pots. She has worked as a journalist, magazine editor, corporate communications leader and brand manager. Her books celebrate her love of history and her Irish and English heritage. She lives in Florida.

Visit her home on the Web at NancyBlanton.com, like her on Facebook, and follow her on Twitter and Goodreads.

By Nancy Blanton
442 pp. Ellys-Daughtrey Books. $18.95

Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours bannerPurchase The Earl in Black Armor at one of these fine online retailers: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, IndieBound, and Powell’s.

The Earl in Black Armor is brought to you in association with Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours.


During the Blog Tour, one winner will receive a signed hardcover copy of The Earl in Black Armor! To enter, please use the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST on July 19th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to the US & UK only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspicion of fraud is 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.

Earl in Black Armor

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About Jathan Fink
Jathan is a journalist, philanthropist, and entrepreneur. He is also a travel junkie, foodie and jazz aficionado. A California native, he resides in Texas.

2 Responses to ‘The Earl in Black Armor’ is a Master Class in Irish History [REVIEW]

  1. Pingback: A Five-Question Interview – my lady's closet

  2. Pingback: ‘The Earl in Black Armor’: Five Questions for Nancy Blanton [INTERVIEW] | Jathan & Heather

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