Book Drunkard

“I am simply a 'book drunkard.' Books have the same irresistible temptation for me that liquor has for its devotee. I cannot withstand them.” L.M. Montgomery

Roses Have Thorns by Sandra Byrd, review



Roses%20Have%20Thorns 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.


As I’m not a great fan of Elizabeth I, part of me didn’t want to read this book.  But, I loved the first two books in the series sooo much (Sandra Byrd even made me slightly sympathetic to Anne Boleyn – also not a fan of her) that I just couldn’t say no.

It is a wonderful book.  As well written as To Die For and The Secret Keeper, it pulled me right in and kept me intrigued from start to finish.  With drama coming in all directions, which is exactly what you’d expect from anything Tudor related, it was hard to put down.

Sandra has become one my favourite Tudor authors – no, one of my favourite authors, period.  She is so creative with the way she brings  an obscure historical figure to life and makes the book so much more interesting than just the same old same view of the ‘regular’ Tudor characters.  It’s a great change to read about the more well known people through the eyes of someone you’ve never heard of.  Elin von Snakenborg is a very interesting person and I’d love to read more about her in the future.


Sandra%20ByrdSandra 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.



2 thoughts on “Roses Have Thorns by Sandra Byrd, review

  1. Fantastic review! Sandra is one of my favorite authors as well and she is such a lovely person.

  2. Thank you for the very cool review, and knowing that I am one of your favorite authors totally made my week!!

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