Review ~ The Heart of the Rose by Kathryn Meyer Griffith
Bronwyn is kind and resourceful, a healer ahead of her time who cares for her aging father and two young sisters. She can entrance a man with her sweet voice, the beauty of her face. She’s an impoverished peasant who lives in the dark, suspicious times of fifteenth-century England where such a woman is feared. Witches are believed to be everywhere, waiting to ensnare a powerful man…like Edward the Fourth of England, who comes across her one day singing in a tavern and makes her his mistress.Edward’s powerful adversary, The Earl of Warwick, seeks to take over the throne of England. Bronwyn is torn between the two; one she loves, the other she loathes. One cherishes her, the other wants to possess and control her. As battle lines form, and the country is torn apart by political upheaval and bloody carnage, the two sides wrestle for the crown. Who will she end up with? When she’s condemned to burn as a witch, which man will save her and which will let her die?
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I would like to thank the author for a copy of the audible book in exchange for an honest review.
This book was right up my alley. I had recently read The White Queen and am also watching it on TV, so I was totally in the mood for more War of the Roses time period.
The audio portion was good, the accents were decent, but it took me a while to get used to the voice. However, once I did, I could enjoy the book more.
The first thing I enjoyed was Bronwyn. She was strong, a fighter, and never a victim, regardless of her experiences. She suffered many pains, but never let them hold her back. She was also a very lucky peasant in some ways and in others, one of the most unlucky people I’d ever read about. But the way she carried on was what really impressed me.
This story was different than The White Queen, because it is in the Point of View of, let’s say, the mistress and not the Queen. Any reading I have done during that period was usually more sympathetic to the Queen and not any of Edward’s mistresses. But after liking Bronwyn, it made it easier to sympathize with her side of things. And I rooted for her the whole way. I also like the change of impression this story gave me of certain real life characters. Warwick was still his cruel self, Queen Elizabeth was painted as ambitious and selfish, and I honestly think she and Warwick had more in common than they would have ever admitted. Kind Edward was kind, fair, just, and very loving. George was himself, selfish and self-centered. But Richard was very sweet throughout it all and especially the end. I enjoyed not feeling so zeroed in on one look at the whole situation. This story definitely gave me another look at what people might have been like and how things may have happened.
Bronwyn, truly made the story and was such a genuine character, true to her heart.
The history based around the fiction seemed mostly accurate and written in an interesting way. There were so many times, I cringed, cried, got angry, upset during the book, but the last quarter of the book was the best for me. I think it was Bronwyn’s journey up until then that made her who she was and she finally got what she deserved and it made me so happy. I cried so much during the ending as it was very sentimental and sweet.
This was a great story for anyone that likes historical romances with many bumpy roads. 🙂