Monday, September 17, 2012

Rose of York: Love & War (YA)

The Rose of York. Love & War. Sandra Worth. 2003. End Table Books. 340 pages.

The messenger tore through the night. The desolate, snowy streets of London posed little danger in the comforting dark, but at London Bridge he reined in his nervous mount. 

I have mixed feelings on this first volume in Sandra Worth's Rose of York trilogy. First, you should know that I love this period in history. I have read half-a-dozen or so novels set during this time period. Some treat Richard III sympathetically, others not so much. Though Shakespeare, in my opinion, treats him the worst of all that I've read. I do like Richard III. I do like books who treat him sympathetically. Which is one reason this one was an enjoyable read. But does it take Richard III to the other extreme? Is he too perfect? too saintly? too heroic? I'm not sure. Is the romance between Anne and Richard too much of a fairy tale? I don't know.

Was Love and War an easy read for me because I am so familiar with the story? Or has Worth just simplified the story for her audience? Would others find it confusing and complex? I'm not sure. The truth is there are dozens of players in this royal drama. And the story itself is detailed and quite complex. It didn't feel that way in Love and War, at least not to me. It seems the characters have been simplified. Each falls quickly into either being "good" or "bad."

The writing was simple, a bit rushed in places, but overall simple and straightforward.

Is it fair to compare this one to Sunne in Splendour by Sharon Kay Penman? True, not every reader would find Sunne in Splendour one of the best, best historical novels ever. True, some might be intimidated by a 900 page novel. Love & War, unlike Sunne in Splendour, doesn't try to tell a comprehensive, complex story. It is primarily a novel solely focused on romance--the romance between Richard and Anne. Yes, Richard's relationship with his brother, the King, and his relationship with Anne's father, "the Kingmaker," enter into it. As does his relationship with his other brother, George. But mainly as complications or obstacles to his one true love. Sunne in Splendour, on the other hand, really is about the time period, the politics, the society, the royal family and the nobility, the drama and chaos of war and love and loss and betrayal.

Read Love & War
  • If you like historical fiction with a strong emphasis on romance
  • If you like simple, sweet historical romances
  • If you are interested in Richard III and this time period (late fifteenth century)
And this is not to be missed:


© 2012 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


Brittany Kingsleigh 9:25 PM  

never read love and war. might read it one day

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I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
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  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
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I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

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