In Cynthia Harrod-Eagles’s worldwide bestsellers, the majestic sweep of English history is richly and movingly portrayed through the fictional lives of the Morland family.
It is 1501, and Paul, great-grandson of Eleanor Morland, has inherited the estate and has a son to follow him. But he fathers an illegitimate boy by his beloved mistress, and bitter jealously between the half-brothers causes a destructive rift that threatens to destroy them all.
Paul’s niece Nanette has her own passions, and becomes maid-in-waiting to Anne Boleyn. At the court of Henry VIII, she witnesses firsthand the events leading up to the rift with Rome, her mistress’s execution, and the further efforts of the sad, ailing king to secure the male succession. And through all the turmoil of Henry VIII’s reign—from drought to floods, from religious reform to court intrigue—the Morlands find new ways to come together while the world seems intent on tearing them apart.
First came The Foundling, which took the reader through the War of the Roses now in her second Morland Dynasty saga, The Dark Rose, Cynthia Harrod-Eagles takes the reader through the demise of the Plantagenets to the full rise of the Tudors being firmly in power. The Dark Rose tells the story of the Morlands during the reign of King Henry VIII and the controversies within the Morland family beginning with Paul, the great-grandson of Eleanor and his conflicts with his half brother Jack. The reader is taken through the tumultuous years of roughly 1501-1549 with the rise and fall of power, allegiances, love, and betrayal along with a fresh insight into King Henry VIII’s court. The Dark Rose is a very detailed account of life during this time period and offers a fresh opinion of a time period often written about. Harrod-Eagles masterfully takes command of historical events and creates intriguing and compelling stories to go with the actual events making the reader care about the characters, both major and minor, along with the events that lead up to the joys, sorrows, heartbreaking sadness and delicious triumphs that occur in the Morland family. Those familiar with Tudor England will recognise many of the key players. While this is the second in the Moreland Dynasty saga, The Dark Rose can indeed stand on its own, however I highly recommend reading The Foundling, as it was truly a brilliant read and the third Morland novel will be released later this fall titled, The Princeling, which I am anxiously awaiting. I highly recommend The Dark Rose to anyone who enjoys exceptionally written historical fiction or anyone knew to historical fiction.
I received a complimentary copy of The Dark Rose by Cynthia Harrod-Eagles from Sourcebooks. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of aforementioned novel.