The Grey sisters experience love, triumph, and tragedy in Tudor England in the second novel from Ella March Chase.
Sixteen-year-old Jane Grey—the “Nine-Day Queen”—is a quiet and obedient young lady destined to become the shortest reigning English monarch. Her beautiful middle sister, Lady Katherine Grey charms all the right people, until a scandalous love affair causes loyalties to shift. And finally, Lady Mary Grey is a dwarf with a twisted spine whose goal is simply to protect the people she loves—but at a terrible cost.
In an age in which begetting sons was all that mattered and queens rose and fell on the sex of their child, these three girls with royal Tudor blood lived under the dangerous whims of parents with a passion for gambling. The stakes they would wager: their daughters' lives against rampant ambition.
In her absorbing second novel, Chase (The Virgin Queen's Daughter) returns once more to the Tudors with ladies Jane, Katherine, and Mary Gray, three sisters who quickly learn that their rightful claim to the throne through their royal blood is as much a curse as a blessing. Jane, the eldest, is implicated in her father's plot to overthrow her cousin, Queen Mary I. Although the queen is reluctant to have her cousin killed, she eventually gives into the pressure, and Mary and Katherine watch their sister killed. Queen Mary appoints them ladies-in-waiting, and from her court they watch the schism between Protestants and Catholics widen, the future of England becoming more uncertain and the reign of the queen more precarious. The final years of Queen Mary's reign and the first of Queen Elizabeth's some three decades are predictably recounted from the perspectives of all three Gray sisters, no easy task given their disparate personalities, but Chase largely succeeds. This is a suspenseful and engaging novel, offering a fine sense of the turmoil and uncertainty that plagued the royal houses of Europe in the mid-16th cen-tury.
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Three Maids for a Crown
For royal lovers, this is an interesting and tragic read. If you loved The Tudors, you will enjoy this.