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Pale Rose of England: A Novel of the Tudors Paperback – February 1, 2011
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The Amazon Book Review
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About the Author
Sandra Worth is the award-winning author of six novels chronicling the demise of the Plantagenet dynasty in England and the rise of the Tudors. Five of her novels are the recipients of awards and prizes, including the Romantic Times Reviewers' Choice Award for Best Historical Biography.
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However, I didn't find the storyline to be overly compelling. Truthfully I didn't find that it did Lady Catherine much justice. I would have liked to have read of the earlier years of her life, and the early days of her and Richard's relationship, instead of being shown them through memory only. Also I found that the story dragged a little around the final years of Richard's life, and then once he died the story raced into overdrive. Each chapter became a whole new segment of Catherine's life and I began to lose interest.
However I was glad to read a novel where it is taken as a given that Perkin Warbeck was in fact the second price in the tower, and I found Ms Worth's argument insightful, with lots of valid points. She has provided me with a very refreshing concept.
The story opens shortly before Richard is captured by Henry VII, taking a little time out to go back and talk a little bit about Catherine and Richard's history (well, only a little bit) and how they came to this. Once Richard is captured and forced to denounce his claims as the son of King Edward and true king of England, he becomes a prisoner and is branded a foreigner. Catherine finds herself as a lady-in-waiting to Queen Elizabeth, and, as she tries to put her life back together, catches the eye of the king.
Pale Rose of England was my first Sandra Worth novel. As a fan of Jeanne Westin, Susan Holloway Scott and Philippa Gregory, I tend to go for these kinds of historical novels with intrigue, romance and fabulous female characters. Lady Catherine's story had so much promise, and while Worth did a lovely job of capturing the period and creating a realistic conflict for our heroine. But something about Pale Rose of England felt like it was laking to me. Especially after reading the blurb, I thought this would talk more about her time with Richard and their rebellion against Henry VII -but that was only about the first quarter (or less) of the story. I just felt like there must have been so many interesting things that happened prior to the events of that novel and, frankly, I was more interested in them than I was in some of the events of the story itself! Not that it was boring or bad by any means, but I feel like it could have been better and more intriguing. In fact, Pale Rose of England read a little but like a sequel rather than a stand-alone novel.
But don't let that deter you from this book. It's filled with lush historical detail, conflict and romance worthy of any Tudor-period novel. I guess I just felt like there was even more fertile ground here that just wasn't explored. But, despite its shortcomings, a worthwhile read.