Monday, August 4, 2014

Roses have Thorns by Sandra Byrd

Roses Have Thorns

From the acclaimed author of To Die For 
comes a stirring novel told that sheds new light on Elizabeth I and her court.

Book Summary

Like Philippa Gregory and Alison Weir, Sandra Byrd has attracted countless fans for evoking the complexity, grandeur, and brutality of the Tudor period. In her latest tour de force, she poses the question: What happens when serving a queen may cost you your marriage--or your life?

In 1565, seventeen-year-old Elin von Snakenborg leaves Sweden on a treacherous journey to England. Her fiance has fallen in love with her sister and her dowry money has been gambled away, but ahead of her lies an adventure that will take her to the dizzying heights of Tudor power. Transformed through marriage into Helena, the Marchioness of Northampton, she becomes the highest-ranking woman in Elizabeth's circle. But in a court that is surrounded by Catholic enemies who plot the queen's downfall, Helena is forced to choose between her unyielding monarch and the husband she's not sure she can trust--a choice that will provoke catastrophic consequences.

Vividly conjuring the years leading up to the beheading of Mary Queen of Scots, Roses Have Thorns is a brilliant exploration of treason, both to the realm and to the heart.

Book Review

If you've never read a novel by Sandra Byrd, then you're in for a real treat. I love that this book brings to life a lesser known woman in the Tudor era. It's a nice change from the over abundance of novels about Henry VIII's wives. 

Sandra Byrd had delved deeply and truly brought to life Erin Snakenborg in this fascinating portrayal. Through Erin's eyes, we learn more of Queen Elizabeth, the animosity between her and her half-sister Mary Queen of Scots, the many murder plots to kill her off, and the political turmoil of the era.  

With lush descriptions, a compelling first person narrative, brilliant details, and tight dialogue, the author swept me into all the court intrigues of the time. I truly could not stop reading once I began. Historical facts were cleverly weaved into the story, so that keeping track of people, was not onerous. The story follows historical facts closely, which is another definite asset. A great storyline, a compelling heroine, and plenty of intrigue and conflict make this a must read book. I have also read To Die For and The Secret Keeper by Sandra Byrd and they are equally as good. Read all three! They are wonderfully enjoyable.

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