#2: Covers c. 1501-1549; the reign of Henry VIII
The Dark Rose, the second in the Morland Dynasty series, roughly covers the reign of Henry VIII, from 1501 to about 1549. Paul Morland is the head of the family now, and his niece Nannette goes to the court of Anne Boleyn and then Katherine Parr as lady-in-waiting. Meanwhile, at Morland Place, Paul faces a series of challenges, including a struggle between his son Amyas and his illegitimate son Adrian.
As usual, Cynthia Harrod-Eagles places a strong female character in the lead; this time, of course, it’s Nannette. But the author never makes her characters seem too modern, which is what I like in historical fiction. Since Nannette is at court, she is present to witness history being made, and as such we see all six of Henry VIII’s wives (though only two get speaking parts). Too, I was fascinated here with how the introduction of Protestantism affected the Morland family; it’ll be interesting to see how it plays out over time.
Also reviewed by: Medieval Bookworm