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.
Praise for Roses Have Thorns
"In Roses Have Thorns Sandra Byrd has given the reader another amazing heroine to tell the intimate story of England's greatest queen, Elizabeth I. What a unique point of view and deeply moving story Helena von Snakenborg provides. Byrd is especially adept at blending political and private lives. This is a timeless women's friendship novel as well as a poignant love story to cherish--both the roses and the thorns." (Karen Harper, New York Times bestselling author of Mistress of Mourning )
"There is something golden about this tale of Elin, an eager young woman in a strange land, diligent in her duty but alive to love. A tale gracefully told, even as it renders the terrors of treachery that form the crucible of Elin's hard-won wisdom. A heartfelt story of loyalty, longing, life-long friendship, and the many seasons of the heart." (Barbara Kyle, author of The Queen's Gamble and Blood Between Queens)
"Beautiful prose and masterful research combine to bring this fascinating tale to life, treating the reader to fully realized characters and providing an original window through which we can view Elizabeth's court. Ms. Byrd's work will stand as an unforgettable contribution to Tudor fiction." (D.L. Bogdan, author of The Forgotten Queen)
PARTICULARS OF THE BOOK :
Publication Date: April 9, 2013
Simon & Schuster/Howard Books
About the Author
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. For more Tudor tidbits, please visit www.sandrabyrd.com. Follow Sandra Byrd on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.
GUEST POST !!!!
We are delighted to bring this informative guest post from Sandra today! Thank you, Sandra... Feeling so special to have you stop by with this.
Perfect and informative piece on Elizabeth who always appeared to be the consummate "clothes horse!"
THE BOOKISH DAME'S REVIEW :
Sandra Byrd has written a trilogy in historical fiction beginning with To Die For, then The Secret Keeper, and now Roses Have Thorns. These are extraordinary works of fiction simply because they are well-researched on the one part, and they are also so well presented as stories. I think Ms Byrd is at the top of her game. She rests as one of the best in those writing historical fiction on the market today.
In this novel, we meet a Swedish noble lady who leaves her homeland as a teenager to serve her homeland noblewoman in a trip to England. As she leaves her mother, she discovers she's been betrayed by her sister and her betrothed. Once in England, she meets a love interest and decides to stay, and to serve Queen Elizabeth I in hopes of marrying the nobleman. Love and loss follow her in the coming years in England.
What Ms Byrd focuses on in her characters throughout the book is this sense of betrayal along with the character traits of loyalty and devotion; thus the title of roses and thorns. Also, she shows the two sides of Queen Elizabeth in the novel--her love and patience toward her peasant subjects, yet her dual personality in relationship to her close ladies in waiting and relatives. These character studies, as well as the love interests of the Swedish Elin von Snakenborg who becomes a Marchioness in her eventual life in England, provide historical details in the life of Elizabeth and the workings of her inner sanctums.
Historically, the time of the Protestant and Catholic struggle between Elizabeth and Mary Queen of Scots is dealt with; although I didn't find this a strong focus of the novel.
I'm a fan of Sandra Byrd and her consistent way of writing. She's an author who is true to historical facts, while she brings in a storyline that is easy to read and flows well with descriptive detail and human love interests.
I'm delighted to be able to recommend all of her books in this series, particularly "Roses and Thorns" with its court intrigue and pains of love and loss.
5 stars in historical fiction Deborah/TheBookishDame
This guest post and review was brought to you in cooperation with Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours. Please visit the website to find more reviews, interviews and posts regarding this book at: http://www.hfvirtualbooktours.com