'How long do I have?' I force a laugh.
'Not long,' he says very quietly. 'They have confirmed your sentence of death. You are to be beheaded tomorrow. We don't have long at all.'
Jane Grey was Queen of England for nine days. Using her position as cousin to the deceased king, her father and his conspirators put her on the throne ahead of the king's half sister Mary, who quickly mustered an army, claimed her crown and locked Jane in the Tower. When Jane refused to betray her Protestant faith, Mary sent her to the executioner's block. There Jane turned her father's greedy, failed grab for power into her own brave and tragic martyrdom.
'Learn you to die' is the advice that Jane gives in a letter to her younger sister Katherine, who has no intention of dying. She intends to enjoy her beauty and her youth and find love. But her lineage makes her a threat to the insecure and infertile Queen Mary and, when Mary dies, to her sister Queen Elizabeth, who will never allow Katherine to marry and produce a potential royal heir before she does. So when Katherine's secret marriage is revealed by her pregnancy, she, too, must go to the Tower.
'Farewell, my sister,' writes Katherine to the youngest Grey sister, Mary. A beautiful dwarf, disregarded by the court, Mary finds it easy to keep secrets, especially her own, while avoiding Elizabeth's suspicious glare. After watching her sisters defy the queen, Mary is aware of her own perilous position as a possible heir to the throne. But she is determined to command her own destiny and be the last Tudor to risk her life in matching wits with her ruthless and unforgiving cousin Elizabeth.
Read by Bianca Amato, narrator of Three Sisters, Three Queens and The Taming of the Queen.
©2017 Philippa Gregory (P)2017 Simon & Schuster UK
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
3 out of 5 stars
By Lin on 12-08-17

Loved the book but was confused by the muddle of the recording.

The book was extremely enjoyable. I saw Elizabeth in a completely new light; Gloriana was shown in a human light, a strong but vindictive woman struggling to hold onto power and so resorting to petty jealousy and consequently subjecting people to unjust and illegal treatment. I now question whether it was her strength or that of her advisors which enabled her to hold on to her throne.
However there was clearly a poor editing of the recording as part way through with a long way still to go before the end the final several chapters were read out which as well as spoiling the ending through myself into some confusion.
Other than that I would certainly say this is a highly enjoyable book and introduced me to a previously unexplored side of Elizabeth's court.

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18 of 18 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By ZENA on 06-09-17

The unknown Tudor stories is tragic and spellbinding

This book has been wonderful for me , an avid Tudor reader . This unknown tutor story was difficult to hear at times as it's so hard to think of these women going through such torment with no support from the law of the day .
But what a story the author has created for us , out the pain comes love and life and courage .
The reader bianca is fantastic and brings these incredible ladies to life .
Zena x

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
3 out of 5 stars
By E.M. Biggs on 14-04-18

Tail end (or tale's end) of the Tudor saga

This is apparently the last book the author will write on the Tudors and is about three Tudor sisters (cousins of Elizabeth 1), who sacrificed almost everything either for a religious ideal or for love. Because of the latter, I found the novel quite shallow and lacking in substance. I got quite bored with hearing how much two of the sisters loved their husbands. The book wasn't bad enough to abandon, but it was like drinking a very flat watered down Coke. Not at all satisfying after you were expecting something much fuller-bodied. Very disappointing.

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5 out of 5 stars
By Mary on 23-08-17

Wow a great read

Apart from Lady Jane Grey I had never heard or known of the other sisters it certainly portrays Elizabeth's paranoia against her coudins. I enjoyed the story so much I am going to go back and start from the first book again.

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