Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Historical Fiction Book Tours: Roses Have Thorns


Publication Date: April 9, 2013
Simon & Schuster/Howard Boo
Paperback; 336p

ISBN-10: 1439183163

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.

Review: Sandra Byrd is a master when it comes to bringing to life the Tudor Era. In Roses Have Thorns we are treated to a glimpse into the life of Elizabeth I. 

I love everything about this series..from the sumptuous cover art to the characters.

Like the other books in this series, Roses Have Thorns is told from the point of view of a friend of the Queen, Elin. From the first page you feel great sympathy for Elin, with the man she is to marry dallying with her sister. 

There is a man that wishes to marry her, and as a result she stays in England as a Lady In Waiting to Queen Elizabeth. It seems like forever before she can wed Marquess Northampton, but while she waits she develops a close relationship with the queen.

I love how you get to know Queen Elizabeth through Helena (Elin)'s eyes. You also get to see all the drama that surrounded "The Virgin Queen," as well as the drama of Mary, Queen of Scots, who plays a huge part in this book even though she isn't really a character.

Sandra Byrd has a wonderful way of humanizing the royals as well as making you feel like you have a window into this world of political intrigue. (And there was never more intrigue than during the Tudor Era it seems)

The other thing that really is present in this story is the religious turmoil in England at the time. It really makes you appreciate the changes that have come to pass in recent years. Its hard to believe wearing rosary beads would be treasonous.

This is a page turner from the start and once the pages start turning, you won't be able to stop.

This book, like the other 2 in the Ladies In Waiting series, will find its way to your keeper shelf

Rating: 5 flowers

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, au

thor of The Forgotten Queen)

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 Follow Sandra Byrd on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.


Lover Of Romance said...

Sounds like a good one. I do love a good page turner.

Sandra Byrd said...

Thank you so much for your *wonderful* review as well as for inviting me to your blog for an interview. I truly appreciate your time and insight!

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