Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The Dark Rose by Cynthia Harrod-Eagles

I received a review copy of this novel from Sourcebooks. This in no way affected my opinions.

The second novel in the epic Morland Dynasty series. The Dark Rose takes place during the reign of Henry VIII. Most of the perspectives in this book are from Paul (Eleanor's great-grandson), the current master of the estate and his niece Nanette, who becomes maid-in-waiting to Anne Boleyn.

I found myself zipping through this faster than its predecessor. There was no setting up, here; we got right into the story.

While in The Founding, we mostly followed the perspective of Eleanor, and it was rather hit and miss with her, in my opinion. Sometimes I liked her, sometimes I didn't. With The Dark Rose, we were following around Nanette and I really liked her. She's probably my favorite of the Morlands, thus far. She was very strong and resourceful and among all things: loyal. She never wavered from what she believed in. I was happy with her ending at the end of the book.

Nanette's uncle Paul is the current owner of the Morland estate. His son is his heir, but Paul has another son, an illegitimate one. This leads to problems, and I'm not talking inheritance problems. Paul's illegitimate son causes many changes, both and good bad, through the years of the family.

The Dark Rose is only my second Tudor book. It's not my favorite time period. However, I enjoyed The Dark Rose, nonetheless. It was interesting to see Anne Boleyn from a different view. And we saw a lot of her in The Dark Rose, seeing as how Nanette was one of the closest to her. The other Queen we saw a lot of was the final one: Catherine Parr. Nanette has known Catherine since they were children and Nanette becomes her maid-in-waiting, as well.

I'm looking forward to the next book, which looks to take place during the reign of Elizabeth I. So far, this is a solid historical series.