Wednesday, February 02, 2011

HFRT Book Review: PALE ROSE ENGLAND by Sandra Worth

Another smashing novel to add to the list of hot historical fiction releases of 2011. “Pale Rose of England” is a prime example of why I love historical fiction so much. The lovely Sandra has always been one of my favorites, ever since my husband gave me “The Kings Daughter” for Christmas I have followed Sandra in her releases. I was ecstatic when I found out she was going to be releasing a new novel. What is most appealing about this novel is for once it is a heroine that I do not know every detail of their life. It is refreshing to read a new story and find a new heroine that I truly can admire.

Catherine Gordon, young cousin of King James IV of Scotland was a worldly renownded great beauty. Dark glossy locks, “eyes like jewels”, a royal barring, and above all else in my mind she is one of the most courageous women I have ever had the pleasure of reading about. Since Catherine was Scottish nobility she possessed that untamable Scottish highlander courage and strength. Being as beautiful as she was courageous Catherine I believe possessed the two attributes that would later come in handy in saving herself from complete destruction. Her life took a monumental turn when her “loving” cousin King James sent her a gift of velvet with a request to come to court. King James had plans for Catherine to come to court because the famous wandering prince Richard Duke of York was paying a visit to the Scottish court in search of support to his claim for the English throne. For the pair it was true love at first sight. With cousin James promising his support of Richard plight he also gave his blessing for their wedding.

The married life agreed with the two love birds and they quickly had one child “Dickon” with another quickly on the way. Problems had arisen in Scotland between Richard and King James and the couple decided it was best for them to quit Scotland and go in pursuit of Richard’s claim to England. With Richard being backed by his aunt Margaret of York, Duchess of Burgundy they decided it was time to pay England a little visit. They came to England with a purpose and Richard was able to raise troops to his cause to fight the “usurper” vile Henry Tudor. With naive dreams of reclaiming the crown the young loving family would find out first hand just how vile calculating King Henry VII of England really could be.

With no other choice but to surrender Richard found his rebellion had failed and he was surrounded and cornered by Tudor in every possible way. King Henry gave a false pretense to Richard to lure him out of sanctuary that his family would be safe from his harm and while he made his way to Henry’s tower he found his only thoughts were of his beloved Catherine. Catherine was told of Richard’s capture from Tudor’s henchmen that were sent to take her captive. Under great duress Catherine lost her unborn babe. It was not just Richard that had caused Catherine’s great distress; Tudor had also stolen her young son Dickon and at that moment Catherine’s world as she knew it completely came undone in one day. With no other choice but to go to King Henry’s court, Catherine was now Henry’s prisoner and trophy. Upon her arrival at court she was quick to discover that cold calculating Henry Tudor had a weakness and shockingly to Catherine he “coveted her person”. She did the only thing she could do, raised her chin to the indignities that were thrown upon her with a defiant no. She never gave up hope that someday she might be able to sway Henry into releasing the man she loved and restoring her stolen babe to her.

5++++/5 powerfully intoxicating! I never have read a novel that has a primary focus is Catherine Gordon and I am not sure if even many of them exist. I love that Sandra chose to start “Pale Rose of England” off where famous author Mary Shelly left off in her novel “The Fortunes of Perkin Warbeck” written in 1830. I loved this book because it is a fresh take on the lost princes in the tower.  Catherine was an impeccable woman that even under great duress she stood her ground and defied a king for the man that was the other half to her soul. Is that not what love is all about, unwavering, unconditional, overpowering emotion that we feel at our core, love? I have to admit after reading this and knowing what it could possibly have been like to have been an enemy of Henry VII, I will never be able to see Henry in the same light again. I have always viewed Henry’s mother Margaret Beaufort as a War of the Roses villain. I guess I never put two and two together that she would spawn evil too. I highly recommend this novel to newcomers of the War of the Roses period. This novel does not go into too much of the nitty gritty details of the war which can be overwhelming. It would be wonderful to follow up with Sandra’s “Rose of York” series.

FTC-Sent by Publisher
PG-13 Rating for violence
Be Sure and check out the group site for much much more on "Pale Rose of England"
Pale Rose of England 

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  1. OMG this really sounds incredibly fascinating! Great review Lizzy- I'm now really intrigued about this new lady. I love the fact that it's mostly about her and not so much about all the war details (which in my opinion have now been overdone). I gotta get this one for sure. I love Sandra too- what a writer:) Thanks!

  2. I so want to read this...
    Maybe I can get it on my nook

  3. Ms. Lucy, trust me you will fall in love with this one, I have to deem it my new favorite because I love it that much. It is really compelling and shows Sandra know what she is writing about.

    Pricilla, I have got a giveaway that goes up on the 4 or 5th I can not remember off the top of my head. Maybe you will win it. I think the cheapest way to get it would be through Barnes and Nobel because right now they are having a free 2 month membership special, I think if I remember right if your a member the book is like 8 buck and shipping is free, but do not quote me on it I could be wrong. You must read this one.

  4. Wow, Lizzy, you know a book is good when you write so much about it :) This is one of those stories that sticks with you, for sure!

  5. Arleigh, you nailed it I realized after I read the whole review that it is way longer than my normal deal. I really enjoyed it, Catherine is a woman I so can admire for her courage.


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