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BONUS: This edition contains an excerpt from Alison Weir's Mary Boleyn.

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
Published: Random House Publishing Group an imprint of Random House Publishing Group on Feb 27, 2007
ISBN: 9780345498069
List price: $11.99
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This historical novel discusses the life of Lady Jane Grey, a young girl who was Queen for only nine days after the death of Edward VI, before Queen Mary took the throne back. She was a distant relative of Henry VIII through her mother, and was also a devout Protestant. As Mary was a Catholic, the rebellion centred around keeping the country to the Protestant religion. Unfortunately it failed, and Lady Jane Gray was beheaded at just sixteen years old.Alison Weir is a historian, and has written books around the Tudor period, so although obviously the story is mainly fictional, it is based on historical facts. It's surprisingly well-written, too, in first person, although it can be confusing as it changes POV regularly between the characters. I thought it was quite heartbreaking at the end, I have always been sympathetic towards her, but particularly so now.The quote on the front cover states that "if you don't cry at the end, you have a heart of stone," and I'd say this is pretty true. It's a tragic story, but very compelling and certainly worth reading if you enjoy historical fiction.read more
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Innocent Traitor is a very well written book. Alison Weir's use of different perspectives to unfold the story is ingenious. Even though Weir is known for her historical non-fiction books, Innocent Traitor stands out not only because it is historical fiction, but because Weir used narrative voice with her characters.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
A fictional recount of the life of Lady Jane Grey and her scheming family who used her as a pawn to get to the highest position in society - that of Queen. A fascinating insight into one of the most momentous periods of English history, lots of well researched historical facts interwoven with imagined converstions and meetings. A thoroughly enjoyable book although I prefer the style of Philippa Gregory for this type of book.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
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This historical novel discusses the life of Lady Jane Grey, a young girl who was Queen for only nine days after the death of Edward VI, before Queen Mary took the throne back. She was a distant relative of Henry VIII through her mother, and was also a devout Protestant. As Mary was a Catholic, the rebellion centred around keeping the country to the Protestant religion. Unfortunately it failed, and Lady Jane Gray was beheaded at just sixteen years old.Alison Weir is a historian, and has written books around the Tudor period, so although obviously the story is mainly fictional, it is based on historical facts. It's surprisingly well-written, too, in first person, although it can be confusing as it changes POV regularly between the characters. I thought it was quite heartbreaking at the end, I have always been sympathetic towards her, but particularly so now.The quote on the front cover states that "if you don't cry at the end, you have a heart of stone," and I'd say this is pretty true. It's a tragic story, but very compelling and certainly worth reading if you enjoy historical fiction.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Innocent Traitor is a very well written book. Alison Weir's use of different perspectives to unfold the story is ingenious. Even though Weir is known for her historical non-fiction books, Innocent Traitor stands out not only because it is historical fiction, but because Weir used narrative voice with her characters.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
A fictional recount of the life of Lady Jane Grey and her scheming family who used her as a pawn to get to the highest position in society - that of Queen. A fascinating insight into one of the most momentous periods of English history, lots of well researched historical facts interwoven with imagined converstions and meetings. A thoroughly enjoyable book although I prefer the style of Philippa Gregory for this type of book.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
The Tudor Dynasty is a part of history is frequently used as the background for historical fiction. The characters are full-bodied, stubborn, zealous in their belief of their own destiny. This book which is a fictionalized biography of Lady Jane Grey shows her to be no different than other Tudors except for the fact that she did not believe that she should be queen.Lady Jane Grey was the oldest daughter of the daughter of Henry VIII's younger sister, Mary Tudor. Early in her life, Jane's parents endeavored to arrange a marriage between Jane and Prince Edward, but that was never completed. Her parents instead married her off to the third son of the Duke Northumberland who was the head of Privy Council for King Edward during his minority.Jane was a zealous Protestant and King Edward on his deathbed named Jane as his successor. He did not want his sister Mary because she was a fanatical Catholic and he could not exclude Mary without excluding Elizabeth, thereby put Jane in line for the throne.The aftermath which has Jane condemned for treason, shows the ruthless of the period and Mary's obsession with Spain.The book was an interesting depiction of what may actually occurred at that time. Whether it is true, we will never know, but it was entertaining and well-written.
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Another brilliantly-written page turner. You are drawn right into the center of everything, as if you are actually there as the action unfolds. Hard to put down from the very beginning.
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This is the first of Alison Weir's ventures into fiction and a brilliant debut it is. A thoroughly engrossing and sad novel, with the leading protagonists' motivations and feelings explored fully, but not overindulgently, through the device of having different sections of the narrative told from different points of view (even one from the executioner at the end). This book is thorough proof of the strength of quality fact-based historical fiction, being able to tell a page-turning story even when you know how things will eventually turn out for Jane and most of the other main characters. I can't wait for her novel on Katharine Howard.
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