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Publisher's Summary

New York Times best-selling author Alison Weir has earned her reputation as the preeminent historian of British royalty. Now with Innocent Traitor, Weir utilizes her vast knowledge and captivating narrative style to craft her first historical novel, choosing Lady Jane Grey, the most sympathetic heroine of Tudor England, as her enthralling subject.

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

Critic Reviews

"Weir proves herself deft as ever." (Publishers Weekly) "Complex yet completely absorbing....A brilliantly vivid and psychologically astute novel." (Booklist)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings


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  • Overall
  • Jt
  • Ipswich, MA, USA
  • 03-05-07

Superior listen!

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.

67 of 67 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Outstanding historical novel

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.

32 of 32 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Cammie
  • Victoria, BC, Canada
  • 04-19-07


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.

25 of 25 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

An Engaging Gem

"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.

17 of 17 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story


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.

14 of 14 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Excellent Historical Fiction

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.

13 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Cassi
  • Cleveland, TN, USA
  • 06-14-07

Top Listen!

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.

26 of 27 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Brilliant example of historical fiction

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.

14 of 15 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Terry
  • Pomfret Center, CT, USA
  • 10-18-07

An Excellent Read

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!

11 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Cariola
  • Chambersburg, PA USA
  • 08-21-07

Excellent Biofiction

Alison Weir does a fine job of creating and interweaving her multiple narrators, Lady Jane Grey and the various persons who influenced the direction of her life, including her parents, Katharine Parr, and Mary Tudor. Her Jane is a strong, intelligent young woman, and one can only wonder what might have been had she retained the crown and overthrown the influence of her Dudley inlaws. Weir creates a detailed portrait of aristocratic childhood in the sixteenth century. A captivating read, and the narrator is excellent as well.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful