The niece of Henry VIII, Lady Jane Grey was Queen of England for nine days. A teenager at the time, her reign was engineered by members of the Privy Council to prevent Catholic Mary I from ruling England. Mary eventually prevailed and Jane was jailed in the Tower of London. Jane might have eventually been released from the Tower if not for Protestant rebellions that threatened Mary’s reign. Lady Jane Grey was executed on February 12 1554, seven months after her short time as queen.
Ann Rinaldi uses these historical facts to create a novel in which Jane speaks to the reader from beyond the grave: “I don’t know what they are going to tell you about me. But be careful what you believe.” The novel sticks tightly to the known history with limited embellishment. Knowing the course of Jane’s life doesn’t take away from the book, the first person narrative keeps the story compelling
This book is categorized for younger readers, HarperCollins website says it is for ages 8+ or 12+. Big Tudor fans who have read through all the recent adult novels about this period might find it a little too light, but I found it to be a quick and satisfying read about a little known woman from history.