Innocent Traitor: A Novel of Lady Jane GreyPaperback
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- Publisher: Ballantine Books
- Format: Paperback | 419 pages
- Dimensions: 132mm x 203mm x 23mm | 318g
- Publication date: 6 November 2007
- Publication City/Country: New York, NY
- ISBN 10: 0345495349
- ISBN 13: 9780345495341
- Edition statement: Reprint
- Sales rank: 271,835
I am now a condemned traitor . . . I am to die when I have hardly begun to live. Historical expertise marries page-turning fiction in Alison Weir's enthralling debut novel, breathing new life into one of the most significant and tumultuous periods of the English monarchy. It is the story of Lady Jane Grey-"the Nine Days' Queen"-a fifteen-year-old girl who unwittingly finds herself at the center of the religious and civil unrest that nearly toppled the fabled House of Tudor during the sixteenth century. The child of a scheming father and a ruthless mother, for whom she is merely a pawn in a dynastic game with the highest stakes, Jane Grey was born during the harrowingly turbulent period between Anne Boleyn's beheading and the demise of Jane's infamous great-uncle, King Henry VIII. With the premature passing of Jane's adolescent cousin, and Henry's successor, King Edward VI, comes a struggle for supremacy fueled by political machinations and lethal religious fervor. Unabashedly honest and exceptionally intelligent, Jane possesses a sound strength of character beyond her years that equips her to weather the vicious storm. And though she has no ambitions to rule, preferring to immerse herself in books and religious studies, she is forced to accept the crown, and by so doing sets off a firestorm of intrigue, betrayal, and tragedy. Alison Weir uses her unmatched skills as a historian to enliven the many dynamic characters of this majestic drama. Along with Lady Jane Grey, Weir vividly renders her devious parents; her much-loved nanny; the benevolent Queen Katherine Parr; Jane's ambitious cousins; the Catholic "Bloody" Mary, who will stop at nothing to seize the throne; and the protestant and future queen Elizabeth. Readers venture inside royal drawing rooms and bedchambers to witness the power-grabbing that swirls around Lady Jane Grey from the day of her birth to her unbearably poignant death. Innocent Traitor paints a complete and compelling portrait of this captivating young woman, a faithful servant of God whose short reign and brief life would make her a legend. "An impressive debut. Weir shows skill at plotting and maintaining tension, and she is clearly going to be a major player in the . . . historical fiction game." -The Independent "Alison Weir is one of our greatest popular historians. In her first work of fiction . . . Weir manages her heroine's voice brilliantly, respecting the past's distance while conjuring a dignified and fiercely modern spirit." -London Daily Mail "From the Hardcover edition."
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Alison Weir is the New York Times bestselling author of Eleanor of Aquitaine; Mary, Queen of Scots and the Murder of Lord Darnley; The Six Wives of Henry VIII; Queen Isabella; and several other historical biographies. She lives in Surrey with her husband and two children. "From the Hardcover edition."
By Heather Rieseck 21 Jun 2009
Innocent Traitor by Alison Weir
Genre: Historical Fiction
This was my first book by Alison Weir and I enjoyed it a lot. As a historian, Weir brings much to the fiction table in this book. She is able to integrate a lot of intricate historical details into the overall story. When historical details are in question, Weir chooses the most believable route to follow creating a vastly interesting historical adventure.
The focus of this book is the Lady Jane Grey and her rise to the throne of England and subsequent downfall 9 days later. Her story is told from just before her birth and the life of her mother and father. She is a smart girl and lives a rather quiet life at her home of Bradgate Hall. Her mother is not the warmest person and does everything she can to advance the family in the hierarchal structure of English society. Her greatest ambition is to bring Jane to the throne, regardless of the manner or the repercussions.
This story is told through the voice of many different narrators; at last count I think there was 8, but it could be a few more than that. I am on the fence as to whether this many narrators are effective or not. Each of these people brings a different perspective of the events of the day to the table. At the same time it can sometimes get confusing as to exactly who these people are and what their purpose is. Some of the narrators appear frequently (Jane and her mother) and some only appear once (Jane Seymour). I have read other books where multiple narrators are employed (The Boleyn Inheritance by Philippa Gregory) but the number has been limited to a few. I think this was more effective because you can really make a connection with the characters and understand their importance.
The character of Jane Grey is exceptionally well written. I had no previous experience with the story of Jane Grey and I have to say that I learned a lot. There were times that my heartstrings were pulled. The author really knows how to create an emotional scene.
I would highly recommend this book to anyone interested in the reign of Lady Jane Grey as well as politics of the time period.
4.5 out of 5 stars!
Praise for Alison Weir's Innocent Traitor "Engrossing . . . suspenseful . . . enormously entertaining." -The Washington Post Book World "Splendid . . . In giving narrative voice to her subjects Alison Weir brings us into emotional contact with them in a way that an unadorned historical account does not." -Boston Sunday Globe "Every bit as good as anything [Philippa] Gregory has ever done . . . [Weir] makes a familiar story vibrant and fresh." -The Atlanta Journal-Constitution "Completely absorbing . . . a brilliantly vivid and psychologically astute novel." -Booklist (starred review) "Poignant and harrowing . . . a gripping finale." -The Seattle Times "A sensitive and fast-paced tale . . . Weir conveys the age's political intrigues, religious fanaticism and sexism." -USA Today "Characters breathe as though they were alive last week-not five centuries ago. . . . A chilling epitaph on a period of history that continues to fascinate and bewitch us today." -San Antonio Express-News "From the Hardcover edition."