Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Roses Have Thorns by Sandra Byrd ~ Review & Giveaway

Genre: Historical Fiction
Series: Ladies in Waiting #3
Publication Date: 9th April 2013
Pages: 336
Book Source: Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

Synopsis: 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 Thoughts:
I loved The Secret Keeper: A novel of Kateryn Parr and was excited when the opportunity arose to read the final book in the Ladies in Waiting series and be part of The Roses Have Thorns book tour. 

Everyone knows I'm huge fan of Tudor history, I never tire of it, but it's also refreshing to view this period in history; the monarchs, court life, the intrigue, religious turmoil, duplicity and plots through the eyes of someone lesser known at court. 

Swedish born Elin von Snakenborg, Helena as she is now known in England is one of Queen Elizabeth I's ladies. Helena's an endearing narrator; with loyalty, honesty, courage and kindness she moves through the ranks, eventually becoming friend and intimate to Elizabeth. 

I loved Sandra's portrayal of Elizabeth, her strength, sternness and many sacrifices but also her warmth and kindness. I enjoyed seeing the very real difficulties for a lady in waiting, all-encompassing loyalty to the Queen is not often conducive to personal happiness but Helena's courage and determination see her happy in her marriages. I must say I'm surprised not to have read anything of Helena, Marchioness of Northampton before this. 

Recommend: absolutely - for history lovers, for lovers of Tudor history wanting a fresh view and for those 'over' Tudor, try this series.

Cover: Sumptuous

Want to know more about Sandra Bryd and her work? Visit her Website, or connect on Facebook or Twitter.

Follow the Tour Schedule
Twitter Hashtag: #RosesHaveThornsVirtualTour

I'm thrilled to offer readers the chance to win a copy of ROSES HAVE THORNS. Just leave a relevant comment or question along with your email address. The giveaway is for one paperback copy and it's International!!

Extra Entries: 
+ 2 tweet giveaway and leave a link

Giveaway ends 18th May and winner will be announced on my blog. Good luck everyone!


  1. I'm one of those who has gotten a bit tired of the Tudors, but I'm ready for a "fresh" view thru the eyes of a lesser known character. I added this novel to my wish list. Thanks for the giveaway.

  2. I'm not familiar with Helena either-I've been craving some Tudor fiction and this could fit the bill!

  3. This historical sounds intriguing and interests me greatly. I would like to explore this book and learn about the characters. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

  4. Thanks for this fascinating novel. The era and the plot is captivating. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

  5. I would love to read this--I've been looking for a new read!


  6. The Snakenborg name just bugs me

  7. Love your recommendation at the end :) I'd love to read this!

  8. I am fascinated by Elizabeth I. I love to learn about her through another one's eyes.


  9. I tweeted:


  10. Thank you, Teddyree for your thoughtful review and for hosting a giveaway! I truly appreciate the time you spent reading, and I am thrilled that you liked the book so much. :) I was excited to discover Elin/Helena, too!

  11. Tudor England continues to fascinate. I love meeting members of the court.


  12. I love The Tudor period and this one sounds great. It has been a long time since I've immersed myself in this period.

    Thanks for the giveaway Teddyree.


  13. I, too, am in love with reading about the Tudors and anyone who lived during the Tudor time period. They are all crazy and really make for great stories!

    Thanks for the giveaway!

    lafra86 at gmail dot com

  14. I have long been fascinated with the Tudor period of British history, and Phillippa Gregory is usually my author of choice. Your review definitely has me interested in this author's work.


  15. I also tweeted the giveaway. Here is the link:


  16. been swooning over this one for some time! Love the cover as well :D thank you so much for the giveaway

    Twitted: https://twitter.com/lilypondreads/status/334438356823977984

    lilypondreads at gmail dot com

  17. I want to read this series but I need a cheat sheet on all of the people involved!!

  18. it looks like an awesome book.Very interesting and one to read when I am feeling lonely.i find book friends are the best! I also tweeted the giveaway http://t.co/GyOeiQElZP


Thanks for taking the time to leave some comment love, I'm a 'comment back' kinda girl. Don't forget to check the 'Notify me' box