Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Pale Rose of England: A Novel of The Tudors

Pale Rose of England: A Novel of The Tudors. Sandra Worth. Berkley Trade Paperback Original. February 1, 2011. 416 pages. ISBN #: 9780425238776.

“Even so, she had brought to mind a pale rose that shines bright against the gloom of downcast skies.” Lady Catherine Gordon joyfully fell in love with the long-lost Richard Plantagenet, Duke of York. He was presumed dead after being imprisoned in the infamous Tower of London by King Henry VII of England, but it turns out he was kidnapped and raised abroad as Perkin Warbeck. Now hiding in Scotland, he finds his true love, is befriended and supported by King James of Scotland, and prepares to claim his rightful place as King Richard IV.

This Prince Richard has doubts about his potential success for he knows his enemy, the wily, cruel, obsessive Henry, who knows he has not the love of his people but rules by fear, oppression, and spying. Catherine is the bolster behind Richard’s dread of the future, the force that finally impassions him enough to sally forth to do battle in a turning historical moment.

The remainder of the story is one of tightrope-walking for survival in which Richard is labeled a traitorous coward, as well as a fraud; and Catherine desperately plays King Henry VII who has deeply fallen in love with her. As she manages to hold his attraction but reject his advances, she waits for word of the whereabouts of one she loves more than life, hints arriving from those who secretly affirm her cause and whose admiration for her stamina increases over time.

The story may seem proverbial in one sense, but Sandra Worth has depicted her characters in this novel in a refreshing, profound, and powerful manner. The artist’s pen herein depicts every significant character in his or her complex personality. The reader is riveted not only by Richard’s transitions from despair to giddy certitude and back again, but also by the almost tender, pleading, and desperately needy revelations of King Henry to Catherine. These latter, vulnerable moments enable her to pity this man whom she really hates for the barbaric hate and cruelty he displays at a moment’s notice. The author even shows him in both extremes in such a convincing manner that at times one holds one’s breath from the tension of not knowing which side will burst forth.

So Catherine proves herself to be a multi-faceted character – read it yourself to relish this beautiful portrayal of a noble, tender, sharp, and formidable character.

The Pale Rose of England: A Novel of the Tudors is a story that must be told, in all its vicissitudes, for this tale brings us characters who wear distinctive, admirable laurels of personal victory on every page! Magnificent literary feat!


  1. Thanks for the great review! I am really looking forward to reading this novel.

  2. I loved this one, looks like I found a fellow blue lover. Great review.