Lady Jane Grey was Queen of England for nine days. Named as the heir to the throne by her cousin King Edward, she was also included in the line of succession of King Henry VIII’s will behind his own children. After Lady Jane and her husband Guildford Dudley were beheaded for treason, Lady Jane left behind two sisters, Lady Katherine, and Lady Mary who would also be pawns in the game for the throne of England.
Lady Katherine was married to Harry Herbert when she was 12 on the same day her sister Jane married Guildford Dudley. Her marriage was annulled after her sister’s fall from Grace, but she has continued to love Harry from afar as she grows up. She soon learns through life’s twists and turns that as someone so close to the throne, she is not allowed to love who she would like, but that her love life is a matter of state.
Lady Mary has a twisted spine and is tiny, but she has a heart of gold. Petted and pawned over by Queen Mary, she and her family must hide their Protestant faith for fear that they will be condemned. She must also hide her hatred for the Queen that ordered her sister’s execution. After Elizabeth becomes Queen, Lady Mary is still a pawn that cannot find her own happiness.
Levina Teerling is an artist who paints the tiny portraits popular among the court set. A friend of Frances Brandon Grey, Levina promises to watch over her daughters while at court. As a woman Protestant artist, Levina has problems with trying to make sure her religion isn’t known as well as keeping the love of her husband George when he feels she spends too much time on the Grey girls.
I enjoyed this novel. I liked the complex look on the every changing religious tides during these turbulent years and three different looks at how a woman could try to shape her own life to varying degrees of success. I had never thought about Jane Grey’s sisters and what her execution would have meant to them. Even more powerful was how being in line for the thrown of England meant that your life was not your own to decide.
Overall, Sisters of Treason is an intriguing look at the lives of three fascinating women during the Tudor era. I highly recommend it.
Book Source: Review Copy from Simon and Schuster – Thanks!
One lucky winner will receive a copy of Sisters of Treason by Elizabeth Fremantle courtesy of Simon and Schuster. If you would like to win Sisters of Treason, please leave a comment on why it sounds interesting.
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