Roses Have Thorns by Sandra Byrd
Ladies in Waiting: Book Three
Howard Books / 2013
About the book:
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.
Roses Have Thorns, while not my favorite in Sandra Byrd's Ladies in Waiting series (that would be The Secret Keeper), was still a really good Tudor novel that I enjoyed reading.
I loved all the history in Roses Have Thorns and I learned some things about Elizabeth I and her lady's maids that I hadn't known prior to reading this book. It was a little hard for me to get into the story at first and at times I got a little confused about who was who (since the book covers a vast period of time and there were a lot of different characters). But when I got about halfway through Roses Have Thorns, I started to get really captivated by the story and the last few chapters were so, so good!
Elin's/Helen's story was fascinating. There were a lot of ups and downs in her life, and it was interesting to see how she responded to the things that happened and the choices she made. I loved the afterword in Roses Have Thorns. It was great to learn what parts of the story had truly happened in real life.
Overall, Roses Have Thorns was a great Tudor novel rich with historical facts. If you enjoy Tudor fiction, then I think you will like this book. I look forward to reading more of Sandra Byrd's novels.
*I received a complimentary copy of this book for my review. I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion - which I've done. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.*
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