Nine Days A Queen
This novel perfectly and uncomplicatedly reveals the compelling story of Lady Jane Grey. Her story, which is told in a first person narrative, begins at the age of nine when she is sent to the Court of Henry VIII by her manipulative and ambitious parents. Here she meets her future guardians, Katherine Parr (the sixth of Henry’s wives) and Thomas Seymour; she also reconnects with her cousins, the future King Edward VI, Princess Mary (later Queen Mary I) and the Princess Elizabeth (later Queen Elizabeth I). Her happiness at escaping the harsh, unpleasant world of her parents is charmingly evident though almost fleeting when one considers her short life. Soon enough upon Katherine’s death, Jane returns home, as her parents continue to scheme to make the most advantage marriage and future for her. Maneuvered into accepting the crown after Edward’s death in a ploy filled with both religious and political overtones, Jane is abandoned and left to falter by those who should be closest to her.
This is a lovely and lovingly researched historical novel which I am confident will lead its readership to further delve into the lives of its main and secondary characters. It is obvious Rinaldi knows her readers, and she enthusiastically writes for them with intelligence and respect. (Ages 12+)