Sunday, March 28, 2010

'The Dark Rose' by Cynthia Harrod-Eagles 
from Sourcebooks Landmark

 * * * *
I had never read any books by this author before having the lucky chance to review this edition of 'The Dark Rose' from Sourcebooks Landmark.  I am now hot on the trail of the first volume in the Morland Dynasty series and will, more than likely, become a devotee of this excellent author!

This book is based on a fictional family with the last name of Morland and the time from is during the reign of Henry VIII - this volume roughly covers the years 1513 to 1549. It is, more or less, a romance, although there is much much more to this story. The historical facts as presented are quite close to factual although the lives of this fictional family - think the Ewings of the old "Dallas" television series.

The book is replete with romance, marriages, deaths, forbidden loves, natural disasters, crop failures, intrigues with the royal family (think Henry VIII, Anne Boleyn, Katherine Parr), rebellions, religious disputes - this book has it all  - and presents it all with a flair and believability that sets this author's talents apart from many other historical fiction writers. The book is founded on a fictionalized family but the events and history that surround this family are definitely based on good, hard historical facts.

It appears that this is a reprint of this excellent book - and some of the older covers are ones that I probably would not have considered buying in the past. I like this cover and I think it suits the book well.

Below are two other, older covers that I unearthed. The one on the right is the more recent, and better of the two IMHO, whilst the one on the left is one I most likely would not have thought to buy way back when I was managing a bookstore!

I'm off to go in search of other volumes in this series. I don't believe that any historical fiction enthusiast will be disappointed in reading this excellent historically based novel!It's due for release in July I believe and can be pre-ordered easily - and often with a discount - on Amazon or through your  very important local bookstore.

This tidbit from Wikipedia on dark or black roses:
In the 18th century, the language of flowers became popular. In this code, black roses to most people signify death, or hatred. But it also means farewell. Black rose means revenge to a foe or wanting to kill someone. However, because a black rose is virtually impossible to procure, it can also mean pure love. A black rose can also mean rebirth, though this is less known.

Disclosure Note:
This book was provided to me by the publisher for review. No other remuneration was involved.


Marg said...

I've read a couple of these books and really enjoyed them. Initially I was intimidated at the thought of 31+ books in the series, but I am just going to take my time reading through them and see how I go!

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