Reader reviews for Innocent Traitor: A Novel of Lady Jane Grey

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.
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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.
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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.
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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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Jane Grey’s parents desperately wanted a son and Jane was a disappointment from the start to her parents and her mother, Frances, was very strict to her. As Jane grows she goes to live with Queen Katherine Parr and finally finds some happiness in her life. But the queen’s death changes everything and once again Jane finds herself to be a pawn in her parents hands.

This was my second fiction book I’ve read from Weir and I remember liking the book about Elizabeth more. I found Jane to be extremely boring and too self-righteous. She spent lot of time just whining and judging other people.

One of the problems was that there was way too many POV’s. There was like 9 POV’s and the good thing was that it was clearly stated who’s chapter it was. I understand the need of shifting viewpoints but enough is enough. Some people like Jane Seymour had just one chapter and I didn’t see point of it.

Jane’s mother Frances was showed to be overly strict mother who punished Jane for even the smallest things. I’m sure there was other strict families so I don’t see the point of hammering this detail so thoroughly.

And who doesn’t love to learn new words like “zounds”. You know, the words you can use in everyday life? Especially when the book is written in so modern day style words like zounds just fits naturally there...

I’m thinking I should stick with her non-fiction books from now on. But I do have her book on Eleanor of Aquitaine in here somewhere...
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I didn't finish this book. I just couldn't get into it and othr more exciting temptations waiting.
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The story in Innocent Traitor was fascinating, as it followed the life of Lady Jane Gray, from birth until she was beheaded at the block. I felt deeply sympathetic with the protagonist and this shows the masterful way Alison Weir writes her novels to tug at the emotions of the readers. Lady Jane’s tale is a tragic tale and you find yourself hoping for some great happiness to befall her at every turn of the page.Despite my love of the story, I was not as enthralled with this book as I was with The Lady Elizabeth. I found I had some difficulty getting past the narrative style in Innocent Traitor. The book was written from the point of view of multiple characters all using the first person. Though Weir always designated who was talking I felt, as another reviewer pointed out, none of the characters had their own “voice.” I found males, females, and even children at times all sounded the same when they were speaking in first person. It always took me a moment to register who was talking. Even though the narrative style was difficult to get past the overall story was still well written.If you are fascinated with the history of Tudor England and want to read a book from the perspective of an individual who eventually gets put to death through the folly of the adults around her, Innocent Traitor is a worthy read. It will not leave you disappointed if you are looking for a good historical story.
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Going into this book, I believed that knowing exactly how the story would end would make the quote on the front cover from a reviewer for The Times ("If you don't cry at the end, you have a heart of stone") rather easy to disprove. It's history, after all, and I knew there was no way that Weir would try to play fast and loose with the historical facts of the matter.The narrative is passed between various female characters, and is, so far as I can recall, entirely in first person and present tense, which I usually find irritating. This may be why the first couple of chapters failed to grab me, but before long I had adjusted to the narrative and become fixed on the story instead, which is entirely more complex than I had recalled and as fascinating and colourful as you would expect from anything touching on the Tudor dynasty.From time to time while reading I very nearly forgot what was going to happen at the end, and became deeply absorbed in the details of what is all too often treated as a footnote to histories of the more interesting - and mostly longer lived - Tudor-era monarchs. That, I think, is the real measure of this book. Oh, and "heart of stone"? Very nearly. Gravel, perhaps.
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