Saturday, September 26, 2009

Book review: The Nine Days Queen by Karleen Bradford

Beneath the Crown: The Nine Days Queen by Karleen Bradford (Published by Scholastic Canada, February 1, 2006)

Awaiting execution for treason after she was Queen of England for just nine days, sixteen-year-old Lady Jane Grey looks back on her short life. She had some happiness as a child, but her parents were distant. A cousin of the Tudor ruling family, she spent some time at court as a young girl. Eventually, her parents had her married to a man she didn't love, or even like. Meanwhile, England is caught in turmoil, as the young Protestant king, Edward, dies. Jane's male relatives scheme to have her crowned Queen of England instead of Edward's Catholic half-sister Mary, although Jane wants no part of it. Powerless to determine her own destiny, she is forced to accept the crown of England and is caught up against her will in events that can only end in tragedy.

This excellent historical novel brought to life the tragic story of Lady Jane Grey; as someone who really enjoys historical fiction set in this era, I found it particularly interesting. She was just a young girl who had no say in her own future and wrongly lost her life as a result of a plot she had no real part in. I highly recommend this novel to preteen and young adult readers who like to read historical fiction about royalty; I think it would particularly appeal to readers of the Young Royals and Royal Diaries series.

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