The child of a scheming father and ruthless mother, Jane is born during a time when ambition dictates action. Cousin to Edward VI, Mary I, and Elizabeth I, she is merely a pawn in a political and religious game in which one false step means a certain demise. But Lady Jane has remarkable qualities that help her to withstand the constant pressures of the royal machinery far better than most expect.
Weir's striking novel sweeps readers back through the centuries to witness firsthand one of the most poignant tales from a time of constant scheming and power brokering.
©2007 Alison Weir; (P)2007 Recorded Books, LLC
"Weir proves herself deft as ever." (Publishers Weekly)
"Complex yet completely absorbing....A brilliantly vivid and psychologically astute novel." (Booklist)
This is one of the best audiobooks I have encountered. Not only is Alison Wiers writing wonderful, but the structure of the book, (narrative entries by various people in Jane's life), lends itself to the multiple narrator format perfectly.
This is a powerful, engaging retelling of Lady Jane Gray's life, and if you enjoy historical fiction, you will delight in this work.
I've been a fan of Alison Weir's non-fiction historical works for many years. This, her first venture into fiction, it every bit as satisfying. The input from so many sources, slowly building an unwanted web around Jane Grey, is addictive. It's a truly well-researched and compellingly written version of a tragic story.
The voicing in the audiobook makes it easy to keep track of the many narrators. It could easily be a confusing book but the multiple voices prevent that. The final voice, unheard until that time, brings the story to a hearbreaking end.
This book is so like Arthurian legend - you already know the end of the story, but somehow keep hoping this time it be different.
Allison Weir is one of the best historical fiction writers on the bookshelves, and this book is superb. The brief reign of the Lady Jane Grey is not often written about, and Ms. Weir does an extraordinary job capturing her life and the circumstances that made her such a tragic figure in the Tudor legacy. To enhance the storyline, the tale is told from the pov's of a number of different characters - from Lady Jane, to her mother, to the last of Henry's wives, Katherine Parr.
What makes this colorful and outstanding narrative come completely to life is the selection of excellent readers for each of the characters. They were cast perfectly. This multi-narrator treatment works extremely well to make it a "can't stop" listen ... And if you enjoy this style, as well as the time period/Tudor era, you will also like Philippa Gregory's 'The Boleyn Inheritance', which is narrated in similar manner.
Don't hesitate to get this book - you will not want it to end.
Fantastic recount of the life of Lady Jane Gray and those around her. It is told in the first person by Jane Gray and several others in a loose sort of diary-entry format. The charcters are wonderfully developed and offer a unique perspective of many well known historical figures of the Tudor Dynasty. I learned a great deal and enjoyed the story immensely.
Icing on the cake: Narration is excellent as well!! Top notch. I will definately add the narrators and author of this book to my list of favorites.
"Innocent Traitor" was a beautiful story performed by skilled and desirable voice actors. Particularly engaging was the voice actress who portrayed Lady Jane Grey. For someone who has listened to hundreds of voice over demos, she was exquisite with regard to her interpretation, demeanor, vocal tonality and transitions in voice ages from that of a child to a teenager to a newly established queen. The ensemble cast of "Innocent Traitor" was complementary, captivating and deserving of highest admiration.
I am dumb-struck by this book. It is brilliant. There are no words to adequately describe its magnificence.
To say it is well written, well performed and tells a complex story in exceptional way, does not tell the half of it. It is a breathtaking story and faultless in the telling.
I have had a fascination with this period in English history for many, many years. I found this account of Lady Jane Grey's life both historically accurate (as far as my limited research allows...I do not claim to be an expert) and entertaining. As with all historical fiction, the author has to create incidents, motivations,dialogues and innermost thoughts to create a believeable framework for historical facts. For me, this author does the job admirably.
Whew! When I finished this book I sat quietly for several minutes, savoring its wonderful depths. I enjoyed it immensely. Alison Weir's development of the Lady Jane Grey's character was superb. Jane's strength of will and belief were not that of an obsessive and religious young zealot, but one of true conviction. She initially developed her beliefs through great intellectual curiosity, but later applied these learnings to her life, growing monumental strength during her ordeal. I enjoyed feeling her strength building, which was generated by the excellent narration. I regret I'm finished with the book. Very well done!
The multiple narrators create a rich and full picture of Jane's world. It's wonderful to see Henry from the point of view of his family. And his court. The readers are all excellent, I believe that i originally found this book by some of the narrators.
To hear Jane grow from a child of 3 was captivating. On Jane's description of her birthday I paused when I suddenly realized that, my God, the girl was 4! And to think that the girl never reached 20.
Alison Weir gives a well rounded look at the circumstances of Jane's experience from a variety of people in her life. The effect is stunning. The details of a dinner party create a lush picture of daily experience in Tudor England. And show how individuals navigated a complex social structure. And the intrigue.....
Can't recommend this book enough. I plan on listening to more of the Author's books.
Narrative makes the world go round.
--but as a novel, it's far from the literary fiction category.
Weir makes so pretence of using literary devices other than modified epistolary format, and no literary devices are much better than the feeble ones usually found in historical fiction. The characters (even Lady Jane as a four year old and her moderately educated nurse) just speak by turns chronologically, journal style, in elegant modern prose.
Perhaps by avoiding awkward attempts to recreate period, Weir actually is more true to the period. She resolves the language divide from Tudor England better than most, opting for contemporary terminology rather than awkward dialogue, with archaic terms for medical and sexual words thrown in as a nod to the period (women awaiting their courses to see if a man's seed had quickened in her womb...). Dialogue is brisker than most historical fiction I've come across, with more historical info packed into it. It's mostly a standard view of history, even though it champions a woman's view through the heroine's eyes. The dialogue was pedantic at times as the historical information was related.
Thankfully, there is little graphic sex or violence or even bodice ripping. It's well narrated, too. The multiple-narrators style worked well here.
Overall, I found this an engrossing, easy listen, but not satisfying enough as a novel to rate more than 3 stars.
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