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Friday, May 10, 2013

Book Blog Tour Stop and Review - Roses Have Thorns: A Novel of Elizabeth I by Sandra Byrd

Roses Have Thorns

Publication Date: April 9, 2013
Simon & Schuster

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 Thoughts:

I read a lot of books that feature the kings and queens of old, and I'm particularly fond of the Tudor era. I think it's fascinating to read about the lives of those who ruled, the politics involved back then, and the people who revolved around the courts.

"Roses Have Thorns" by Sandra Byrd is a wonderful example of this genre of novels. She describes the time period, the people, and their lives with such attention to detail that the reader feels that they are actually there, hovering around, listening in to the intrigue and the drama that swirled around the ladies and gentlemen of old.

This novel is the third in Byrd's "Ladies In Waiting" series, and I really enjoyed how she bases her story on a member of the Queen's entourage and gives readers a look at life behind the throne.  In "Roses Have Thorns," she highlights the life of Helena Northhampton and her rise from Swedish maiden to one of the most powerful women in court in her day. I knew little about Helena before this novel and was enthralled with her story and how it intermixed with Queen Elizabeth I's. This is a story of friendship, of romance, of intrigue, and is also a faith-filled tale, which was pleasant to discover.

Fans of historical fiction will love "Roses Have Thorns."  I highly recommend it.

Sandra Byrd
Sandra Byrd has published more than three dozen books in the fiction and nonfiction markets, including the first book in her Tudor series, To Die For: A Novel of Anne Boleyn. Her second book, The Secret Keeper: A Novel of Kateryn Parr, illuminates the mysteries in the life of Henry’s last wife.

For more than a decade Sandra has shared her secrets with the many new writers she edits, mentors, and coaches. She lives in the Seattle, Washington, area with her husband and two children.

Connect with Sandra Byrd: WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | TWITTER

To see what other bloggers are saying about "Roses Have Thorns," check out the blog tour site at http://hfvirtualbooktours.com/roseshavethornsvirtualtour/

My thanks to Historical Fiction Virtual Tours for including me on this tour, and to Sandra Byrd for the review copy of her book.  I was not compensated for my opinion.


Sandra Byrd said...

Thank you very much, Sharon, for your time and thoughtful review. I appreciate you!

Sharon Galligar Chance said...

You're so welcome! It is a wonderful book!