Her Highness, the Traitor by Susan Higginbotham tells the tale of the Jane Grey/Guildford Dudley fiasco through the alternating voices of their mothers – Frances Grey and Jane Dudley. It focuses more on the families involved and how it affected them than on the young couple. I found it a refreshing take on the story. There have been many books written on the subject from many different aspects, but this was a first for me.
Strangely enough, where I’ve liked Jane Grey in other books, and despised her mother, Frances, the opposite was true in this book. I found her to be a sympathetic character and, as a mother, I felt her pain and could relate with her relationship with a teenage daughter. The Dudleys are another story. I don’t think I could like any of them no matter what the story was. In fact, I found that (perhaps) Susan didn’t write that family as ‘power grabbing’ as they really were. That might have just been my perception, however, since I don’t like them.
The book is well written and I didn’t find it difficult keeping the different viewpoints separate. While it didn’t initially hold my attention in the first few chapters, it gradually got better.
Thanks to Sourcebooks for providing me with an ARC of the book.