Monday, December 9, 2013

Roses have Thorns by Sandra Byrd

Roses Have Thorns: A Novel of Elizabeth I (Ladies in Waiting #3)


 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.

My Opinion:

Wow. I knew this was going to be an emotional book because the first two were, but this is the first book out of the series which I experienced over 20-25 years of the Heroine's life. Throughout, she had amazing ups and devastating downs.

I don't know if I could be in a Queens service for so long, or at least I wouldn't feel as loyal and devoted as these kind hearted heroine's were. Helena was almost willing to risk anything for her Queen. Even though I knew it hurt her to do so, she was willing to put just about anything on the line for her new Queen and country. A lot of the times I thought she risked to much, but I suppose it's just the way things worked back then.

Working in Elizabeth's service for so long started to destroy even Helena's personal life with her family. She had no time for a Husband or raising children, but she had them anyway. She didn't even know she could trust her husband because she was never around to talk with him. Neither of them being there for each other lead to an estranged marriage where neither one of them knew if it would work out.

I learned from this that, if I ever do get married, I always need to make time for my husband. I also need to trust him and not be curious of what he is doing all hours of the day. I need to trust God that he will keep us close, but I also have to take action of my own and keep communication and love flowing through our marriage.

James 2:17
In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.