Misc. Historical Fiction. · Sagas

The Dark Rose by Cynthia Harrod Eagles. (#2)

Whew! That took a long time to read, to be sure.

This is the second book in the Morland dynasty series by Cynthia Harrod-Eagles. It covers the approximate time period of 1500-1549, and we see the family evolve over that time.

To begin with, I realized that I didn’t like this book as much as I liked the first. However, I do realize that historical sagas are a pain to write because you have to be aware of family trees and connections. Interesting, but a pain in the butt to remember and write down.

It was interesting to see the family evolve against the background of Henry VIII’s court. It presented Anne Boleyn in a very sympathetic way and perhaps goes some way to explain why she was like she was. Or perhaps not. I also spotted a few historical inaccuracies added for the sake of embellishment which didn’t bother me but would probably bother someone who was very into their historical fiction and their historical dates.

The romance between Paul and Nan was just disturbing because if you put it in a modern context then its just weird but must’ve happened a lot in those days for dynastic purposes.
It was also quite strange in the book when they described a 30-year-old as middle-aged.

I liked the ending of the original book as well probably more than the ending of this book but it was good to see that the couple got their male heir even though as a result of tragedy and death. The ending of the first book was better because it had the original figurehead of the family dying, while keeping the legacy and the image of the White Hare eternal. Here, it is good in its own way too because it shows that life moves on.

I will definitely be borrowing the next book which covers 1558 and onwards. The series was first written back in 1980; the perfect time for a historical book to be written, with the world enraptured with the spew of costume dramas being produced at the time. I have now read 2/34 of the books – I wonder how long it will be before I become bored and give up??

I’d give this book ***/*****

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