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Roanoke: A Novel of Elizabethan Intrigue [Kindle Edition]

Margaret Lawrence
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $9.99
Sold by: Random House LLC

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Book Description

In the spring of 1585, seven English ships sailed around Cape Feare and up the windswept coast of Florida. Their mission: to gain a foothold in the Americas, a gateway to riches, an island fortress against the Spanish. But within ten years, the vibrant new colony had vanished without a trace.…

In Hampton Court, Elizabeth is under siege—surrounded by sycophants, spies, and assassins who stalk her every move. Among those charged with protecting her is a tall, charismatic spy named Gabriel North…and when the queen’s advisers persuade her to send ships to the Americas, North is given a job for which he is perfectly suited: to seduce Roanoke’s Secota princess and gain information about a fabled treasure hidden in the wilderness.

In Princess Naia, North meets a woman who bewitches him utterly—and he soon sees the dangerous deceptions from which his mission was born. As war and calamity crash down on Roanoke Island, Gabriel North becomes a wanted man in a desperate hunt that will lead back across the Atlantic—into a trap set by his enemies, and into a shocking act of treachery that swirls around Elizabeth herself….

With the grace of a master storyteller, Margaret Lawrence brings to life a cast of brave hearts and blackguards, petty criminals and grand schemers, who play their roles in a searing drama of conquest, rule, and rebellion.

From the Hardcover edition.

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The author of Hearts and Bones returns with a clunky sea-crossing historical thriller that promises to imagine what may have happened to the lost colony of Roanoke. At the center of this tale is Gabriel North, ordered by the conniving handlers of an aging and cash-starved Queen Elizabeth, whos just survived an assassination attempt, to travel across the ocean in pursuit of the legendary riches that supposedly abound in the New World. But as much as Sir Walter Ralegh and others see Gabriel as a pawn for their bidding, they arent prepared for Gabriels eventual alliance with the Secota Queen Naia. Though well researched, the novel suffers from wooden dialogue, is filled with far too many minor characters and fails to deliver a stunning reveal about Roanokes fate. (Jan.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Recruited from Cambridge along with his overseer, Rob Mowbray, who, looking back, recounts the sordid truth of their adventures, Gabriel, the son of a butcher, saves Queen Elizabeth I’s life. His reward? He is sent out to colonial Roanoke with the military in search of treasure. Gabriel is soon captured by the wild country’s beauty as well as the beautiful queen of the Roanokes. The rest of the English are brutal toward the local people, while Gabriel tries to help them as he falls in love with their queen. When the mission ends, all Gabriel can think about once back in England is returning. He does, with a group of settlers, only to find that the mission is doomed from the start. Who sabotaged the colony and why? Lawrence presents a page-turning historical mystery filled with the treacherous court politics and intrigue of the time and offers an original view of the mystery that is the lost Roanoke colony. --Patty Engelmann

Product Details

  • File Size: 700 KB
  • Print Length: 418 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0385342373
  • Publisher: Delacorte Press (January 27, 2009)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B001RS8L96
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,035,682 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another first-rate novel by Margaret Lawrence July 3, 2009
Let me start out by saying that I would read anything written by Margaret Lawrence: grocery lists, emails, greeting cards. Luckily she writes superbly textured historical novels. This latest concerns the mystery of what happened to the lost English colony of Roanoke. For the reviewer who complains that she fails to deliver 'a stunning reveal' about the colonists' fate, perhaps he/she should remember ROANOKE is a novel, not a home makeover show. Having researched all the available facts, Lawrence constructs just one possible scenario. You want another one, write your own novel. And although we love to be able to neatly categorize everything, dubbing ROANOKE a 'thriller' is misleading. People may expect some sort of literary version of a Michael Bay film and they'll be disappointed. The only thing that matters is that Lawrence is a wonderful writer who makes the past come alive as few novelists do today. In addition, she gets her historical facts straight; Elizabethan England unfolds before us in all its brutal violence and beauty. The two protagonists, Rob Mowbray and Gabriel North, are Elizabethan spies who begin to weary -- and question -- their life of deception. The England they serve is under threat by a foreign power, the long war with Spain has bankrupted the Treasury, and the middle class is slowly being destroyed. Investors in the new colony are desperate to believe the wild rumors of gold, and no matter how much evidence is presented to the contrary, they won't veer off their ruinous course. If innocent people die or are tortured to maintain the facade, so be it. The one thing they won't admit to is failure, and their part in it. Needless to say, there are obvious parallels with today's world. Read more ›
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A complex, multi-layered novel and a great read January 27, 2009
What happened to Roanoke, Virginia (now North Carolina), is one of history's unsolved mysteries. With lean, often lyrical, prose Margaret Lawrence takes a fresh look at the lost colony. She is totally immersed in late 16th-century England and America but also explores such timely topics as power, greed, violence, terrorism, torture, racism, and sexism. Every word and every character become threads in a tightly woven tapestry that depicts a once vibrant, now frozen, moment of time.
In 1585 England and its queen, Elizabeth I, are grappling with economic woes, assassination attempts, and war with Spain. Soldiers and colonists are sent to Virginia in hopes of finding great wealth (gold, pearls) and building a fort against the Spanish (already entrenched in Florida). The Secota natives and their queen, Naia, offer food and expertise. But drought, starvation, gold fever, and hurricanes decimate the colony. British soldiers vent their frustration on the natives. The victims--like at My Lai and the Gaza--include women and children. Angry warriors exact revenge. When English supply ships finally return in 1590, the colony has vanished.
Solving the mystery of Roanoke, as Lawrence views it, involves spies and traitors, the queen's closest advisors, Spanish prisons, survivors, strong women, a cross-cultural love, and a man (Gabriel North) who rises above his time with uncommon courage, compassion, and a quest for justice.. Lawrence personalizes the story, giving everyone a name--not to burden the reader with a cast of hundreds but to remind us that even Jem the drowned lute player or Airstalker the visionary or Emma Merrimoth the serving wench are human beings. As the narrator says, "'they weren't a puzzle, they were people. They were real. They still are'" (p.290).
Roanoke is a complex, multi-layered novel but also a page-turner, a perfect read for a cold winter's night. Check out the author's website ([...])
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars engaging historical thriller January 29, 2009
In 1585 in the twenty-seventh year of the reign of Queen Elizabeth, Gabriel North saves Her Highness from an assassination attempt. Her royal retinue, led by power seeking rogues like Raleigh, sees an opportunity with the handsome young man to bring needed money into the monarchy and subsequently not just keep their influence but increase it. They send Gabriel across the Atlantic to learn what happened to the Roanoke Colony and more to obtain a rumored significantly wealthy native ally in the cold and hot wars with Spain.

North leads the expedition to the New World. His assignment is to seduce Secota Indian Queen Naia, whose wealth is fabled on both sides of the Atlantic. On Roanoke Island, Gabriel begins to fall in love with his honest beautiful target and realizes the duplicity of those who sent him on his mission. As he begins to learn the true fate of the English colonists, he returns home to confront a court filled with intrigue and out of control power willing to sacrifice innocent pawns for personal gain.

Although disappointingly no incredible new theory about the Lost Colony surfaces, fans will enjoy this engaging historical thriller that brings to life the usually hidden woes of Elizabeth I in her third decade of rule. The story line is fun to follow as a strong cast including a zillion secondary players brings to life Margaret Lawrence's latest historical as Machiavellian maneuvers dominate the queen's court.

Harriet Klausner
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars First book by Lawrence July 27, 2009
Format:Kindle Edition
I bought this book while on vacation in the outer banks. I knew nothing of the author, it just looked like a good book. I was pleasantly surprised by the heart pounding insight into Elizabethian times. The characters were intriguing, and I loved the theory about what happened to the lost colony. I think most people will be pulled into the book right away, and enjoy the historical insights.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting
An interesting combination of political intrigue in Elizabethan England and the Roanoke Colony. Perhaps, I would have liked it even better without the narrative jumping from one... Read more
Published 20 months ago by J. Goodwin
3.0 out of 5 stars Roanoke: A Novel of Elizabethan Intrigue
This book was...different. I wanted so much to like the book because I liked so many of the characters. I liked that the bad guys were bad, really bad. They hated. They judged. Read more
Published on November 6, 2012 by S. Yu
5.0 out of 5 stars Prose to Weep Over...
I've been a reader far longer than a writer, and truly enjoy discovering a wonderful turn of a phrase, or a chilling sentence, a descriptive passage that plants you right there in... Read more
Published on May 24, 2010 by A Reader in the Mitten
4.0 out of 5 stars Great novel about the time of Elizabeth
Fascinating book. Much insight about the time of Elizabeth. The clothes, the intrigue, the hidden passages in the palace, and two interesting lead characters. Read more
Published on March 31, 2009 by Shirley L. Hanson
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Read
Very interesting and intriguing read. Good historical basis for what may have happened to the Lost Colony. Read more
Published on March 4, 2009 by Jo Hill
1.0 out of 5 stars Returning this book
As an avid fan of historical fiction, especially the Elizabethan era, I was excited to read this new book that includes mystery and intrigue, along with American Colonial history. Read more
Published on February 22, 2009 by Riverderby
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