Recommended for: Anyone who likes Tudor-era fiction
Read from August 26 to September 09, 2013
4 stars (story)
4.5 stars (audiobook)
Read by: Stina Nielsen, Davina Porter, Bianca Amato, Jenny Sterlin, Jill Tanner, Gerard Doyle, & Robert Ian Mackenzie
This was a LOOOOONNNNNGGGGG look at the life of the Nine-Day Queen, Jane Grey, the traitor queen of England who was forced to take the crown at age 15/16 by men who wielded power like bludgeons during one of the most chaotic times in England's history.
I enjoyed this book much more than I did The Lady Elizabeth, Weir's novelization of the childhood and youth of Elizabeth I. While that one betrayed Weir's experience as a nonfiction writer, this one read more like a Philippa Gregory novel---with multiple first-person viewpoints (much like my beloved The Boleyn Inheritance). And, much like the audio version of that Gregory novel, this one featured a different narrator for almost every viewpoint.
Because Jane Grey was so young for most of the book, it actually worked better to have the multiple viewpoint characters, since she was a passive player in most of what happened to her. It was good to get into the minds (in a fictional conjecture, of course) of the people behind the machinations that led, ultimately, to Jane's execution as a heretical traitor in February 1554.
Though I knew the story from the "outside" -- in that I knew the timeline and details of the historical occurrences -- it was interesting to get an "inside" look at the characters who are usually brushed aside as bit players in the transition from King Edward VI to Queen Mary I. Especially since I've recently read The Tudor Secret and The Tudor Conspiracy by C.W. Gortner, which is a complete fictionalization of these events.
There isn't much in fiction that covers the lives (and reigns) of both Edward VI and Jane Grey, so the subject matter was what drew me to this book. It was Weir's surprisingly deft handling of all of the characters that kept my interest throughout the 18+ hours of this audiobook (though, as with The Lady Elizabeth, I found that when she was unable to characterize Jane's youth through the prose--even at four years old, Jane came across as an adult, with an adult's vocabulary, reasoning, and understanding).
The only narrator I had any issue with was Stina Nielsen, who was the voice for Jane Grey's viewpoint. She had a tendency to pause at odd/awkward places in the middle of sentences, which made me have to run it back to figure out what the sentence was actually supposed to be saying, since the pauses chopped up the flow/meaning. She also had a tendency to mispronounce things/pronounce them oddly (such as saying tutor for Tudor). While this was annoying and would start getting on my nerves, invariably just when I was getting ready to turn it off, the viewpoint would switch to another character which meant another narrator.
I would have liked to have seen one last scene in the book--from Queen Mary's viewpoint, reacting to Jane's death. The ending, as it was for Jane, was too abrupt.
I might as it was more entertaining to hear the different characters voices.
When Jane found out she was to be crowned
Very well done
I LOVE HISTORY!!!
If you have never heard the story of the Nine Days Queen, this is the best place to start! What an awesome picture of a woman totally betrayed by everyone around her.
I absolutely love Alison Weir's work and the narrators did a magnificent job.
The book was ok in terms of plot, character development, etc., but I found it very odd that the author chose to present it as a number of first person narrations. What are we supposed to think these are? They are not letters or diary entries. If we are supposed to think the all-seeing author is putting us inside the heads of these people as they muse, it strains credulity to think that anyone muses so articulately, whether a child, a nurse maid, an executioner or a queen. I don't recall ever reading a book like this and I think it greatly distracts from the overall work.
Afraid to as I hated the rape scene---much too graphic---I have an imagination and I don't need a detailed description to get the pain of the act.
Overall the story is excellent---really giving the author's insight into the feelings of the real people involved. Absolutely enjoyed that part.
Real life--loved the dramatization with different narrators.
Yes---no idea---but I would never watch it if they left graphic sex scenes in like the book did.
Don't feel I can recommend it or listen to other of the authors books because I am totally offended by the graphic scene. Don't understand why that had to be in there.
I love books specially about the Tudor Family
The readers made the characters come to life.
the last chapter...very sad and it will haunt me.
yes loved it.
both at the appropriate times.
Excellentlyl written and narrated. This fictional historic work gifts you with becoming a part of each character and understanding of the power and dysfunction of the British monarchy. Prompted me to do more research after reading this book--Jane then NIne Day Queen versus "Bloody" Queen Mary.
I will probably listen to this book again next summer. It is not only enjoyable and the details are fascinating, but it also gives a sense of life from a very different view.
When Lady Jane realizes she is queen and has the power to rule over her husband's actions, it is thrilling to see the light dawning. That is surely the moment for which many women of that day would envy a queen, more than al the luxuries and riches of nobility..
Lady Jane was the most developed character and her strong personality and intelligent grasp of events taking place around her and to her was a pleasure throughout the book.
Lady Jane was who I remember most clearly although her mother and nurse are close seconds. The relationship between the three was timeless and very touching as well as causing incredulity at the plight of children in those times.
This book is a great read as well as being filled with a glimpse into another world. Anyone who likes historical fiction would most likely enjoy this book. The reader is fantastic and makes it a complete winner. I couldn't stop listening.
I love reading Alison Weir's books because she takes these real-life people from history and makes them so much more than just a page in a history book. Even though I knew how this story would end I couldn't stop listening.