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Monday, July 26, 2010

The Rose of York Trilogy by Sandra Worth

Rating 5 Crowns

Love & War

In a tumultuous era marked by peril and intrigue, reversals of fortune and violent death, the passions of a few rule the destiny of England and change the course of history . . .

Set in Malory’s England during the Wars of the Roses, this stirring tale of passion and romance tells the true love story of the two star-crossed lovers, Richard of Gloucester and Lady Anne Neville, before they become King and Queen of England.

Crown of Destiny

After Edward IV's death in 1483, his detested queen Elizabeth Woodville makes a grab for power in court rotten with intrigue. To avert civil war, Richard of Gloucester must betray his royal brother's secret, for which another brother has already died. With war looming, to protect those he loves, Richard is forced into the most excruciating decision of his life, one that will change the course of history

Fall From Grace

The dramatic conclusion to the Rose of York trilogy, this well documented, historically accurate novels bring Richard III vividly to life as reluctant king and tragic hero whose legacy, centuries later, flowered into modern Western democracy. Plunging the readers into the swirling currents of Malory’s England and the War of the Roses for a stirring tale of passion, romance, lust, intrigue, betrayal, and murder.

*Please note that each of those descriptions are from the back of the book. I felt that if I give my own synopsis, I would giveaway too many of the details that readers should read on their own.

My Thoughts

When I opened the book Love & War the first thing that I noticed was the dedication from Sandra saying:

“For Richard,
For John,
and for all who shine a light across the dark chasm of Time.”
When I read those words I felt that it was a very weighty statement, and throughout the series the dedication would ring through my mind. I felt that Sandra truly was writing this series for Richard, to show him in a more humanistic light. For once I felt as though Richard had a voice, no long was he this Machiavellian villain, hideous in both appearance and actions that Shakespeare had dream up to please his Queen, but he was a true human. Sandra seems to have a connection with Richard III that shines through the pages of her novels, illuminating the true person. She has done an outstanding job portraying Richard III as who he really was, a man who was caring and kind. Not only does she show readers who he really was, she allows the readers to see the trials and tribulations that he suffered throughout his life time.

I believe that Sandra Worth is a master at Richardian literature, never before has an author been able to capture the emotions of this misrepresented King. This heartfelt trilogy features chronicles Richards life from childhood to king, and leaves nothing out.

Although this is s trilogy of war, loss, and betrayal it is also the story of eternal love.

Please not that the novels are all standalone novels and can be read on their own, although I will guarantee that you will want to read them all.

If you should only want to read one, please read, Fall From Grace, as I feel it is most powerful of the trilogy.

Murder Most Royal
The Case of the Princes in the Tower
By Sandra Worth

One of history’s most enduring mysteries involves the disappearance of the two little princes in the Tower believed murdered by their uncle, Richard III. But did he really murder his nephews? And was a murder even committed?

New research into the age-old mystery of the lost princes suggests an even more dramatic and staggering possibility: that one of the princes survived, and that the pretender the Tudors nicknamed “Perkin Warbeck” was really who he claimed to be-Richard of England.

The truth can never be known for certain. The mystery is shrouded by the passage of time. Evidence has been lost, or destroyed, sometimes by royal decree, and Shakespeare has forged myth into historical fact. For theses reasons, what happened to the princes will forever remain a cold case. But now, a new book gathers together all that is known for certain, and from the ashes of history a different picture emerges. One that is powerful, dramatic, epic, and brutal.

My forthcoming novel, Pale Rose of England, takes this new information and shapes it into story of what might have been. For centuries, questions have swirled around the fate of the princes and it has been assumed that they were probably murdered. But there are holes in all the theories and much remains unexplained-we turn history on its head and ask, What if the younger prince survived? Suddenly, the loose ends and odd pieces of the puzzle fall into place.

Did Richard III murder his nephews? My research has convinces me he didn’t. I can’t explore all my reasons in the space of this brief post, but let’s examine Richard III’s most famous detractor, William Shakespeare.

Shakespeare wrote for a Tudor queen, and he has a good reason to be careful. His uncle and aunt, and their daughter and son-in-law were tortured in the Tower of London and executed when Shakespeare was eighteen years old. They were Catholics, and one night when the son-in-law was drunk, he made a politically very incorrect remark in a tavern about Queen Elizabeth I, a protestant. Shakespeare never forgot what happened to his family and wasn’t going to make the same mistake. He gave the Tudors what they wanted to hear-the official line that Richard III murdered the little princes in the Tower. The death of King Edward IV’s two sons left his daughter, Elizabeth of York heir to the throne. When she married Henry Tudor, she legitimized the Tudor dynasty.

By the way, in passing-did you know Richard III had three little princes, not just two, standing between him and the throne? So what happened to the third prince?

He was murdered-excuse me, executed-by Henry Tudor. Therein lies a tale.

Giveaway Details

Sandra Worth has kindly offered to host a lovely contest for Royal Reviews.
One lucky winner will win a signed book of their choice from Sandra’s award winning titles.
These titles include:

The King’s Daughter
Lady of the Roses
Love & War
Crown of Destiny
Fall from Grace.

To enter the giveaway please email Sandra Worth at historyworthreading at gmail dot com with Royal Reviews Constest in the subject line.

The contest will also be posted on Sandra’s website and her FaceBook page after August 1st.

The contest is open until September 1st.

Best Wishes & Happy Reading

My Thanks to Sandra Worth for the guest blog as well as the giveawy.

Visit Angela @ Renee's Reads


Ragged Staff said...

Interesting reviews, but I think your 'never before has an author...' is a gross overstatement. There have been many novels in the last 30 years that have presented Richard III in just this light. From Hawley Jarman's We Speak No Treason, through Penman's The Sunne in Splendour, to Tanahill's The Seventh Son. All of them, in my opinion, better books than Worth's.

Cath said...

Yay! Thanks for posting this!

Lynn Irwin Stewart said...

I love Sandra Worth's novels -- they rank way up there on my "favorites list".

Rachel said...

Thank you for the giveaway! I've been looking for the Rose of York Trilogy for a while.


Jenny Q said...

Sounds awesome! I love Richard in Sharon Kay Penman's The Sunne in Splendour so much,( It's one of my favorite books of all time), that I have a hard time reading about him from other authors. I've not read any of Ms. Worth's novels yet, but I'd like to.

Anonymous said...

Too liberal handling of British history, which never quite relied on Shakespeare,who lived a hundred years later than Richie 3 and Henry 8, and had nothing at all to do with shaping of historical narrative. Of course, T.Cromwell was a heavily biassed person politically, as well as other Tudorian courtiers, but do you have any proofs that Richard the Third was innocent of the alleged crimes? Or that Henry Tudor killed 'the third prince'? 'My research'. Based on what? Personal conviction that Richard never committed those crimes? Where are the facts you rely upon? There's none. Some day one writer may come to conclusion that Hitler was sunny boy, all to the same effect.