Three Maids for a Crown: A Novel of the Grey Sisters

Ella March Chase. Broadway, $15 trade paper (400p) ISBN 978-0-307-58898-2
In her absorbing second novel, Chase (The Virgin Queen's Daughter) returns once more to the Tudors with ladies Jane, Katherine, and Mary Gray, three sisters who quickly learn that their rightful claim to the throne through their royal blood is as much a curse as a blessing. Jane, the eldest, is implicated in her father's plot to overthrow her cousin, Queen Mary I. Although the queen is reluctant to have her cousin killed, she eventually gives into the pressure, and Mary and Katherine watch their sister killed. Queen Mary appoints them ladies-in-waiting, and from her court they watch the schism between Protestants and Catholics widen, the future of England becoming more uncertain and the reign of the queen more precarious. The final years of Queen Mary's reign and the first of Queen Elizabeth's—some three decades—are predictably recounted from the perspectives of all three Gray sisters, no easy task given their disparate personalities, but Chase largely succeeds. This is a suspenseful and engaging novel, offering a fine sense of the turmoil and uncertainty that plagued the royal houses of Europe in the mid-16th cen-tury. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 07/04/2011
Release date: 08/01/2011
Genre: Fiction
Open Ebook - 252 pages - 978-0-307-58899-9
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