Roses Have Thorns: A Novel of Elizabeth I is a really great historical novel. I loved it!
This book has a bit of everything. History, romance, adventure, even a bit of mystery.
One of the best things about the book(in my opinion anyway) is that it is based on real history. Reading a well researched historical novel is the most enjoyable way to learn about history.
You just have to keep in mind that even though the facts are correct…the story itself is still a story. There is no way to tell why exactly a person did something, unless they left a diary that tells all.
But a good historical novelist turns all those facts into a good story and makes it easy to read.
Sandra Byrd is an excellent historical novelist! One of the best I have ever come across and I love historical fiction.
This book is the story of a girl named Elin who traveled from Sweden to England back in 1565 and ends up becoming one of the highest ranking nobles in the court of Queen Elizabeth I.
The story of how Elin got there and what happened to her during the years she served the Queen just dragged me in and kept me reading for hours.
I think Elin must have been a really brave woman. That was a long way to travel back then and then to decide to stay in a strange country where she didn’t know anyone….well even today that would be hard but back then…you might not even be able to get letters and probably wouldn’t EVER see your family and friends again (no Facebook or even twitter). I don’t think I could do something like that.
This is a really good read and even folks who don’t normally read historical fiction will enjoy it.
The book is part of a series called Ladies In Waiting that contains two other books about Tudor Queens and the women closest to them. There are links on the right side of the Ladies In Waiting page where you can see pictures of many of the Castles and Palaces mentioned in the books. There is also a link to a page that has a list of all the Tudors and several of the other characters in the books along with some downloadable family tree charts.
About the book:
In 1565, seventeen-year-old Elin von Snakenborg leaves Sweden on a treacherous journey to England. Her fiancé 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.
A rich, tautly woven tale of love, deception, and grace, Roses Have Thorns vividly conjures the years leading up to the beheading of Mary Queen of Scots and is a brilliant exploration of treason, both to the realm and to the heart.
About the Author:
Sandra Byrd has published more than three dozen books in the fiction and nonfiction markets, including the first two books in her Tudor series, To Die For: A Novel of Anne Boleyn and The secret Keeper: A Novel of Kateryn Parr. 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.
Check out my review of the first novel in this series: To Die For.
Disclosure: I won this book back in February from Crafty Booksheeps.