If you think finding love is difficult, try finding a mate when every choice you make has political ramifications. For the Grey sisters, love is a political act. In fact, to get married without the Queen’s permission is an act of treason! Yet – girls will be girls.
Tudor England continues to fascinate readers and Ms. Fremantle offers a fresh take on the era. Jane Grey became Queen of England after the death of Henry VIII’s son Edward. However, Mary took the throne from her and then her life. Poor Jane had two sisters who stood in the line of succession to the throne, who were viewed with suspicion by both Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth. Sisters of Treason presents the story of these two sisters as they try to navigate the shifting currents of religion and politics.
Lady Catherine Grey has no interest in either the religion or politics of the time, wanting only to find love. Almost her opposite, Lady Mary Grey has a deformity that makes her ineligible in the marriage market and her keen mind understands the religious and political upheavals around her. The two women face the constant danger caused by their royal blood and their traitorous father.
Ms. Fremantle does a delightful job bringing the time period to life and following the tale of these two women. One of my favorite movies as a child covered the brief reign of Jane Grey and I have been fascinated by her family ever since. Most books on the time period mention Catherine and Mary Grey in passing without providing much detail. This book offered me a chance to learn more about them. I loved reading about these two women and thought Ms. Fremantle did a solid job at creating the possible tale of their life.
I really liked the way Ms. Fremantle presented the uncertainty and danger of times. It’s one of the aspects of Tudor England that falls to the wayside because we know a great deal of what happened. Not to mention, most books focus on the major characters whose fates are well known in popular culture. The Elizabethan era feels different from the point of view of people who had no idea what their fates might bring.
My only complaint is that the book felt liked it lacked a unifying plot. I know, it’s a common failing with historical fiction. The author follows the events and has to choose a place to start and a place to end it. However, without a strong plot structure you either take it until the main characters are dead or stop the story midstream. I felt like this book took the later avenue and it just did not work for me.
Overall, I enjoyed this book and recommend it!
Sara Drake has been an avid reader since a young age. She has both a Master’s in Mental Health Counseling and a Master’s in History.
Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Simon & Schuster. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.