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Saturday, February 5, 2011

Book Review: Pale Rose of England by Sandra Worth

Pale Rose of England by Sandra Worth
ARC, Paperback, 464 pages
Berkley Trade
February 1, 2011
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Genre: Historical Fiction

Source: Received from publisher for review for HFBRT February event
From the award-winning author of The King's Daughter comes a story of love and defiance during the War of the Roses.

It is 1497. The news of the survival of Richard Plantagenet, Duke of York, has thundered across Europe, setting royal houses ablaze with intrigue and rocking the fledgling Tudor dynasty. Stepping finally onto English soil, Catherine arrives at the island of Saint Michael’s Mount, along with her husband and young son Dickon, their second child already on the way. With the keen support of Scotland’s King James IV,
Richard—known in England as Perkin Warbeck—has come to reclaim his rightful crown from Henry Tudor. Based on a prophecy given Catherine by a seer that she would be loved by a king, she has no doubt Richard will succeed in his quest. But rather than assuming the throne she believed was their destiny, Catherine would soon be prisoner of King Henry VII, and her beloved husband would, unimaginably, be stamped as an imposter.

Nothing could shake Catherine’s belief in Richard and her loyalty to the man she loved. She became a favored lady-in-waiting to the queen, Elizabeth of York, but her dazzling beauty only brought her unwanted affections from a jealous king and enmeshed her in a terrifying royal love triangle. With her husband facing execution for treason, Catherine, alone in the glittering but deadly Tudor Court, finds the courage to spurn a cruel monarch and shape her own destiny, winning the admiration of a nation.”
This story takes on a unique subject in the genre of historical fiction – that of the quest of Richard, Duke of York to reclaim his throne, but he is known to the world as Perkin Warbeck, the pretender to the throne. I love when authors take on a subject that has very rarely been written about. In my opinion, Sandra Worth does Richard much justice. He was just waiting for the right author to come along and write his story. Her writing style really allows you to connect with Richard and uncover his thoughts and feelings and motivations. The author also presents and very convincing case that suggests the person known as Perkin Warbeck was really Richard. Honestly Richard was a character you could easily fall in love with. I haven’t encountered one of those since William Marshall and Roger Bigod from The Greatest Knight and For the King’s Favor respectively.

At the same time, this book is a story of Catherine Gordon and the adversity that she faces being married to Richard and then later having to live in the court of Henry VII, the great enemy of her husband. Her and Richard really were fighting an uphill battle throughout the whole book and I just kept thinking, “could they ever catch a break!?”.

All of the books I have read where Henry VII was involved, he played a minor character and I was never really given enough information to even have an opinion about him. In Pale Rose of England Henry is very much a key player in the story and I really came to despise him – he just caused problem after problem for our protagonists. Another thing that I really enjoyed about the characters in this book was that it wasn’t your typical Tudor cast of characters. You had Catherine and Richard, as well as King James of Scotland, James Strangeways (courtier to Henry and her eventual second husband), and Matthew Craddock (her eventual third husband) as well as several of the sisters of Elizabeth of York (Cecily, Anne, Catherine and Bridget). It was great to see a little more of who was who in this time period.

A truly wonderful read that will pull on your heartstrings.

If you would like to preview the story before reading it, why not try out this excerpt of the book?

You can also watch the book trailer below.

Reviews of this book by other bloggers:

Buy the Book: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | RJ Julia

Also by Sandra Worth

the kings daughter
The King’s Daughter

the rose of york
The Rose of York: Love & War (Book 1)

crown of destiny

The Rose of York: Crown of Destiny
(Book 2)

fall from grace
The Rose of York: Fall From Grace (Book 3)

lady of the roses
Lady of the Roses

Find Sandra Worth: Website | Facebook 

Also as part of the HFBRT event, check out:

A guest post by Sandra Worth at Historical-Fiction.com
A highlight on Sandra Worth at HFBRT

Copyright © 2011 by The Maiden’s Court


  1. Love the book trailer and your review. Henry VIII is a figure in history that I've needed to read more of.

  2. Thank you for a great review. I am looking forward to reading this book and finding out more about these people.

  3. Coffee and a Book Chick - Wasn't the trailer awesome!? I loved it.

    Librarypat - This book definitely gives you one possibility of what happened (or could have happened).


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