Thursday, April 4, 2013

Roses Have Thorns

Author: Sandra Byrd
Publisher: Howard Books
April 2013
ISBN: 978-1439183168
Genre: Historical

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

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.

My daughters love Sandra Byrd’s young adult books set in England, and I thought it’d be fun to try her adult books out. ROSES HAVE THORNS is the first non-young adult book I’ve read by Ms. Byrd and I found it rich in historical detail, engaging, and spell-binding. I’ll definitely look for more books by this author!

Written in first person, the reader is instantly engaged with the main character. And the point of view is very well done, making us see and understand what she does. I love some of the terms used in the story, the descriptive uses of words that convey so much more than long explanations.

If you like historical romances then you will definitely want to read ROSES HAVE THORNS. This is a novel of Elizabeth I. A reading guide, reference list, and an interview with the author are included. $14.99. 336 pages.

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