Thursday, May 2, 2013

Roses Have Thorns by Sandra Byrd

 This is an interesting, eye-opening look at the royal family, especially Queen Elizabeth, in the latter half of the 1500s.  Based on real people, this book tells the story of Elin von Snakenborg, who leaves her home and court of the princess in Sweden to settle in England.  She becomes part of the court of Queen Elizabeth I after there are some complications involving her planned marriage to Lord Northampton.   Over the course of many years, she becomes a very good friend to the queen while political intrigue and threats of rebellion are a day-to-day occurrence.  Will her Protestant queen be overthrown by her Catholic half-sister, Mary, Queen of Scots? Two men will vie for her love, but can she trust either of them?  When she's forced to choose between her queen and her husband, what will the consequences be?

I learned a lot about the inner workings of court and what it would have been like to be a part of it and I would definitely not have liked it!  I understand better the motivations of the queen and the pressure she was under every day, not to mention the pressure the ladies and others around her felt, too.  I got a little confused with all of the names mentioned, especially since a few had the same name.  The story felt a bit formal and I wished for a little more emotion from Elin, but it also made sense for the setting.  It felt difficult for me to relate to her, especially since I can't understand why someone would have chosen this life.  I liked the romance and the attention to detail made the story come to life.  Check this out if you like historical fiction, especially about the royal family!

I received this book free from Howard Books, a division of Simon & Schuster, in exchange for an honest review.

Check out the giveaway over at Sandra's blog:

Link to order Roses Have Thorns:

About the author:

After earning her first rejection at the age of thirteen, bestselling author Sandra Byrd has now published more than forty books. Her adult fiction debut, Let Them Eat Cake, was a Christy Award finalist, as was her first historical novel, To Die For: A Novel of Anne BoleynTo Die For was also named by Library Journal as a Best Books Pick for 2011 and The Secret Keeper: A Novel of Kateryn Parr, was named a Library Journal Best Books Pick for 2012. Roses Have Thorns: A Novel of Elizabeth I, will publish in April, 2013.

Sandra has also published dozens of books for tweens and teens.

A former textbook acquisitions editor, Sandra has also published many nonfiction articles and books. She is also passionate about helping new writers develop their talent and their work toward traditional or self publication. As such, she has mentored and coached hundreds of new writers and continues to coach dozens to success each year.

Please visit to learn more, or to invite Sandra to your bookclub via Skype.

Connect with Sandra on Twitter:

Connect with Sandra on Pinterest:


  1. Thank you so much, Veronica, for taking the time to read and review my book. I truly appreciate it ... and you!