My Rating: 4/5
Author: Amanda Scott
Title: The Rose at Twilight
Genre: Historical Fiction
“Proud and beautiful Lady Alys Wolveston is left without a protector at the end of a decisive battle in the bloody War of the Roses. She refuses to accept Henry Tudor as the legitimate king; her loyalty is to the late Richard III and his Queen Anne, her beloved foster mother. But the Welsh knight Sir Nicholas Merion prevents Alys from returning home and carries her off to London to become the King’s ward . . . and, eventually, Sir Nicholas’s wife. She refuses to submit to the arrogant Welsh warrior, plotting with his enemies and fiercely denying her attraction to him. But as she comes to know the battle-hardened man’s humor and generosity, and experiences his thrilling touch and the comfort of his strength, she can’t help but lose her heart to him. Now Alys will find herself trapped in deadly political intrigues that demand that she choose between love and loyalty to a once-great king.”
The Rose at Twilight is a historical fiction novel that follows Lady Alys as her whole world is turned upside down when King Henry VII (Henry the VIII’s father – if you are not completely familiar with this era)defeats King Richard III. Lady Alys does not support the new king but is found to be at his mercy as his ward. Sir Nicholas (a Welsh knight that does King Henry’s bidding) is assigned to accompany Lady Alys to London-where she will find out her fate with the new monarch. He soon finds that Lady Alys isn’t your typical submitting woman. And, she finds that his behavior is not always that of an English knight. An arranged marriage is not the biggest worry for Alys for supporters of the late King Richard are planning to put his son back on the throne, and Lady Alys wants to help. However, she is surrounded and now under the protection of the Tudors.
The story is written in third person that follows Lady Alys. Lady Alys is not your usual 15th century lady. She is outspoken and willing to face dangers for things she believes in. Although she is unlike other ladies of her time, she does understand her limits and submits whenever there is no other choice. Lady Alys was a little….whiny at the beginning of the book, but as it continued, I didn’t find her attitude as bad. I enjoyed the characters and some of the funnier relationships between them. For instance, Hugh and Jonet’s relationship is rather funny. I also enjoyed young Ian. (I do like Scotsmen!) A few times throughout the book the accents written were a little hard to understand, but I was still able to follow through.
The plot moves well. The beginning was a little slower as the reader got the back story and character development. As the book progresses, things pick up and more intrigue happens. I never read a historical fiction about Henry VII; I have read about nearby reigns, so this was refreshing. The story shows the troubles that a new monarch must have faced – fear of uprisings, splitting of friends and family (for those that submitted or refused the new monarch), the yearning for peace, how everything (land and betrothals) had to be rethought, etc.
The Bottom Line:
Overall, I enjoyed this book. If you are a fan of historical fiction – especially one of the war of the roses – then you should try this book.