Monday 16 June 2014

Review ~ Sisters of Treason by Elizabeth Fremantle

Penguin UK
May 2014

In Sisters of Treason, the author weaves together historical fact and fiction and brings to life the story of the enigmatic Grey sisters, who along with their more tragic sister, Jane, were forced to live within the shadow of the Tudor crown, and who were destined to leave their own mark on Tudor history.  In the aftermath of the execution of Lady Jane Grey, Mary Tudor’s court is a scheming hive of plot, counterplot and malice, and for the Grey sisters keeping close to the Queen is not a comfortable arrangement. However, keeping your enemies close is a theme which will reverberate throughout the reigns of both Tudor queens.

Told in the combined voices of sisters, Katherine and Mary Grey, and also of Levina Teerlinc, who is a court painter, we are given an insight into just what life was like at the centre of Tudor politics and of how both Katherine and Mary were always kept within a hair’s breadth of the Tudor crown. Both sisters lived a tragic life and this is sensitively and emotionally explored in a novel which covers both the reigns of ‘bloody Mary' and her more charismatic, but no less terrifying sister, Elizabeth.

There is no doubt that this new voice in historical fiction really knows how to bring the royal court alive in a believable and realistic way. Beautifully written and meticulously researched Sisters of Treason abounds with danger and political skulduggery, and offers a unique insight into a royal court where being a potential Tudor heir and female was fraught with danger and which ultimately would have no happy ending for any of the trio of Grey sisters.

 My thanks to Francesca Russell at Penguin Books UK and NetGalley for my copy of this book.


Elizabeth Fremantle holds a first in English and an MA in creative Writing from Birkbeck. As a Fashion Editor she has contributed to various publications including VogueElle,Vanity Fair and the Erotic Review. Sisters of Treason is her second book following on from Queen’s Gambit.


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