About the Book:
About the Author:
This is my third book by Sandra Byrd and I most certainly hope it is not my last. The three have been part of her Ladies in Waiting series and have presented a somewhat unique point of view on a queen we have come to know – for better or worse – through history’s telling. Roses Have Thorns brings us to the glorious court of Elizabeth I and to one of her closest ladies, Elin (Helena) von Snakenborg. Lady von Snakenborg arrives in England on a mission from Sweden to try and woo Elizabeth to marry the King of Sweden. While there she meets the Marquess of Northampton and he convinces her to stay even when her party goes homes. He proposes marriage which would make her the second highest ranking woman in England; only the Queen would outrank her. But the path to her marriage is not smooth and she is not well accepted by the ladies of the court. Elizabeth likes her, though and that is all that counts in this world. She is invited into the Queen’s inner circle and when she finally does marry Northampton she becomes one of Elizabeth’s closest ladies.
At first when I read the synopsis I thought this had to be a fictional character but it was not; Elin von Snakenborg existed and was indeed the Marchioness of Northampton and one of the Queen’s ladies in waiting. It’s truly fascinating how Ms. Byrd takes the bits and pieces of these lives left to history and creates such amazing, rich, three dimensional characters from the few lines left on scattered pieces of paper. In all of the reading I have done about Elizabeth I I had never encountered this particular woman and viewing a most familiar Queen through her eyes made Elizabeth seem fresh and new.
I enjoyed the plot and Elin/Helena was a delight. I’m hoping there will be more ladies in waiting in the future to give a different look at other queens because it is an interesting way to visit familiar courts.