Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Brave Enough to be the Queen's Servant? ~ Roses Have Thorns by Sandra Byrd ~ Review AND Giveaway!!

The third in a historical trilogy, “Roses Have Thorns” is set in the Tudor period, a time rife with conflict and rich in more than just the jewels and costumes.
Much like a movie playing out before the mind’s eye, this novel follows richly on the its cover’s promise. Dark and deep, telling in its portrayal of real life characters through the eyes of a fictional heroine, the novel takes place over more years than most titles can pull off.
A reader can travel years within one chapter, but a tip of my feather-decked hat to never once making me feel as though I were rushed. I would have really loved to see the layer of Thomas and Helena begin much sooner in the novel. I wanted to delve deeper into their relationship and their struggles.
  To be a servant to the queen? A woman with enough power to sever your head from your shoulders without being questioned? I don’t think I’d be brave enough. Helena was. 16th century England was nothing short than a walking booby trap. What faith!        
   I felt much of the novel was circular. The same events happening over and over and with this, I lost a great deal of my initial interest. While the story as a whole, had great potential for good, I didn’t enjoy this one as much as “To Die For” (novel #1)
This review is my honest opinion. Thanks to the publishers for my copy to review.

More about the novel....

From the acclaimed author of To Die For comes a stirring novel told that sheds new light on Elizabeth I and her court.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 an 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.


Would you like to win your own copy of Sandra's latest novel and the pictured Elizabethan necklace?

I thought so. ;-) I'd enter myself, if I weren't hosting it!

Leave a comment below about why YOU'D like to read this book and I'll add your 
name to a drawing to win the title, Roses Have Thorns and the pictured necklace (actual prize might appear slightly different than pictured)

Standard contest rules apply. Only U.S. entries please! One entry per entrant in this contest. :-) 

I'll draw a winner and email them privately next Saturday, May 25th


  1. This sounds like an intriguing book. I've never read a book on this time period (gasp!) but would like to delve into it. :)

    nicnac63 AT hotmail DOT com

  2. I would really like to read this novel. I always hear or read about the Queens. Not often do I see books about the life of a servant to the Queen.


  3. I don't know much about Elizabeth I or the Tudor period - hoping this book will give me more insight. Thanks for the giveaway opportunity!


  4. love Sandra's books and what a lovely giveaway thanks for the chance to win

    ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

  5. I enjoy books set in the Tudor period.

  6. The cover itself is intriguing...I find myself wishing I could see the characters' faces! This time period held so much sadness, but the way people overcame it is always interesting.
    kandrajane at bell south dot net

  7. I would love to be able to give this book to my daughter. She is a Sandra Byrd fan and hasn't read this one.

  8. I am and have always been drawn to Queens, Kings, Princes and Princesses. It doesn't matter what time period. This sounds like a wonderful book. Thank you for entering me in your giveaway!!

  9. Thank you so much, Casey, for your thoughtful review and for hosting the giveaway on your blog. I appreciate you!

  10. I reading similar reviews about this book - but I'll give it the ole heave ho and try it - if I should win! Thank you for sharing.

  11. I would love to read this book. Sounds really good. T hanks for the giveaway. Tore923@aol.com

  12. I am very interested in reading this book. In college I took a course on Tudor England. I really enjoyed it. Thank you for offering a copy of Roses Have Thorns.
    may_dayzee (at) yahoo (dot) com

  13. I would love to read this book! I have always been fascinated about this era

  14. Comment from Kaylyn:

    I would love to read this book; especially since it is written from the servant's point-of-view and not the queen's. I have been enjoying various stories from the Tudor Era for the past few years.


  15. Comment from Cherie:

    I still haven't been able to figure out why I can't comment using the Google acct. anymore. Anyway, I love the idea of writing from the view of a servant, who gets to become involved with the royalty.
    Have a great day!!

  16. Thanks for your thoughts and of course, the giveaway! I love the Tudor era, so this book is right up my alley.


Thank you so much for stopping by, I love to hear from those who traffic my blog! Have a wonderful day. :)

FTC Rules

According to new FTC rules I must let you, the reader know, that all views shared on this blog are strictly my own. Books to review are either provided for me by the author, publisher or ones I have purchased and I am under no obligation whatsoever to present anything, but my true opinion on any product. I receive no monetary compensation for anything written on this blog. Any giveaways on this blog are provided by the author/ publisher and I am not responsible for any views they express in their work or on this site. Giveaways are void were prohibited and chances of winnng are based on the number of applicants. A random winner is draw when a book is given away.

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