Friday, April 26, 2013

Roses Have Thorns by Sandra Byrd ~ Book Review

Roses Have Thorns by Sandra Byrd

About the Book:
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:
Historical fiction at its finest. 
When I want to read historical fiction, I don't want to feel as though I've picked up an encyclopedia and started reading it. I want to feel as though I have been transported back in time and am a part of that particular era. This is not an easy thing to do for any author. Sandra Byrd is one of the very few that can accomplish this. Too often, historical novels become places with major information dumps and I get bored. Quickly. And then I never want to return to the book. This one? In my opinion, this one is even better than To Die For.

I have my favorite books and authors. Sandra Byrd is at the top of the list.

This story is full of intrigue, suspense, and stratagems almost entirely within your own family.
Everyone smiles.
Everyone bows or curtsies.
Yet almost everyone wants you dead.
The solution? Surround yourself with brilliant counselors and ladies in waiting that you can trust. And even then, you may make a terrible mistake.

Taking a piece of history that is in itself fascinating, Ms. Byrd went the extra distance. She found and expounded on a tiny fractional piece of history about a person many people didn't even know existed, and gave her her own voice. Her own story. And it was captivating. Thrilling. And I was sorry to see this one end.

If you're looking for cardboard characters, limp plots and scenery? Don't waste your time on this book. If you're looking for something to chew on and think about for weeks to come? Even do a little research on your own just to see how much of this could be true? You'll want this book.
Highly recommend.

*My thanks to the author for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for a review. I was in no wise obligated this review be positive. These thoughts are my own.*