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Sisters of Treason: A Novel

Sisters of Treason: A Novel

4.2 10
by Elizabeth Fremantle

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From the author People called “a must-read for Philippa Gregory fans,” a “terrifically entertaining” (The Sunday Times, London) novel about two sisters who must survive life in the Tudor court after the execution of their sister Lady Jane Grey who was queen for just nine days.

Early in Mary Tudor’s turbulent reign, Lady


From the author People called “a must-read for Philippa Gregory fans,” a “terrifically entertaining” (The Sunday Times, London) novel about two sisters who must survive life in the Tudor court after the execution of their sister Lady Jane Grey who was queen for just nine days.

Early in Mary Tudor’s turbulent reign, Lady Catherine and Lady Mary Grey are reeling after the brutal death of their elder seventeen-year-old sister, and the succession is by no means stable. In Sisters of Treason, Elizabeth Fremantle brings these young women and their perilous times to vivid life.

Neither sister is well suited to a dangerous career at court. Flirtatious Lady Catherine, thought to be the true heir, cannot control her compulsion to love and be loved. Her sister, clever Lady Mary, has a crooked spine and a tiny stature in an age when physical perfection equates to goodness—and both girls have inherited the Tudor blood that is more curse than blessing. For either girl to marry without royal permission would be a potentially fatal political act. It is the royal portrait painter, Levina Teerlinc, who helps the girls survive these troubled times. She becomes their mentor and confidante, but when the Queen’s sister, the hot-headed Elizabeth Tudor, inherits the crown, life at court becomes increasingly treacherous for the surviving Grey sisters. Ultimately each young woman must decide how far she will go to defy her Queen, risk her life, and find the safety and love she longs for.

“An enthralling story of love and tyranny, Sisters of Treason brings the Tudor Courts to life again, in all their romance and horror” (Leanda de Lisle).

Editorial Reviews

The Sunday Times
“Fremantle manages to combine pacey storytelling with superb background…terrifically entertaining.”
"If you love historic royal fiction (with a dash of romance) you'll want to pick up Elizabeth Fremantle's Sisters of Treason, about two sisters reeling after the execution of their teenage sister, having been on the throne for just days."
Leanda de Lisle
“An enthralling story of love and tyranny, Sisters of Treason brings the Tudor Courts to life again, in all their romance and horror.”
M.C Scott
“Passionate, compassionate, intricate, sharp, clever and utterly compelling.”
A Bibliophile's Reverie
"Fantastic...engrossing...Elizabeth Fremantle does a superb job, giving us a rich, psychological dimension to all the characters in this novel...displays the hidden, rich lives of women...which are sometimes...left understated in the history books."
“Fremantle’s story is vivid and tense, rich in all the drama that defined the Tudor Era, particularly the question of its future.”
“Sisters of Treason is thrilling historical fiction… Well-paced and highly entertaining...nearly impossible to put down.”
Library Journal
Most historical fiction fans are familiar with the story of Lady Jane Grey, the Tudor pawn who spent nine days on the English throne before being usurped by Mary I, but few know what became of her two sisters, Catherine and Mary, in the tumult of royal succession after Edward VI's death. Fremantle (Queen's Gambit) offers her own interpretation. After Mary Tudor executes Jane, the Grey family falls out of favor, but the sisters' Tudor blood means the monarchy must keep them close. Catherine, impetuous and beautiful, is constantly falling in love regardless of the consequences. Born with a crooked spine, younger sister Mary is treated in turns as a favorite pet or a pariah. Levina Teerlinc, a Bruges-born court artist famous for her miniature portraits, promises herself to watch out for these girls in the dangerous dance of court intrigue. Told from the perspectives of these three women, the novel presents a picture of court life full of secret affairs, treasonous plots, and very real dangers. VERDICT Tudor fiction fans will enjoy Fremantle's fresh take, marked by solid writing and absorbing detail, on a rather well-told tale.—Anna Nelson Karras, Naples Regional Lib., FL

Product Details

Simon & Schuster
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.20(d)

Meet the Author

Elizabeth Fremantle is the author of Sisters of Treason, Queen’s Gambit, and Watch the Lady, and has contributed to Vogue, The Wall Street Journal, Vanity Fair, The Sunday Times (London), and other publications. She has also reviewed fiction for The Sunday Express. She lives in London, England.

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Sisters of Treason 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
MargieS1 More than 1 year ago
Given To Me For An Honest Review This book is set during the time of the Tudors.  It is right after the beheading of Lady Jane.  It is about her two sisters.   Quite a read and if you love history and the Tudors you will like it.  I highly recommend this book and only wish I could give it more stars.  Once I started it I could not put it down until I was finished.
Teritree001971at More than 1 year ago
In this story, we get a glimpse into life at the English royal court as viewed through Mary and Katherine Grey, the younger sisters of Jane Grey. Instead of merely focusing on the kings and queens, we get to see the lives of two sisters and the way they may have felt as they attempted to survive, both threats to the throne in their own rights. Katherine through her beauty and potential to produce heirs. Mary through her blood, although not considered by those around her. As the story opens Frances and Levina are going to attend Janes' execution and by chance get a few moments alone with her. Jane Grey is calm, ready for her execution. She has a faith in the face of death those around her struggle to understand. Jane tells Frances to give her Bible to Katherine. In it she has written the last advice she will give her. For Frances, she has written a letter. The openning draws you into the story and you realise the horror of what is happening as if you are there. All the characters are well written and you can't help but get a glimpse into life at royal court. However, the glimpse for me was that of the fear and pain involved for everyone. How you give up your privacy with only your thoughts to be your own. It shows the daily betrayal by those closest to you. How the life you live not always belongs to you, but those around you. How even your parents will use and betray you. How everyone sees almost everything and then attempts to figure out how their knowledge can benefit them most. The story tells us of two sisters and how life was lived in a way history does not with it's monotonous recitation of dates, times, places and events. We can see Katherine as the real threat to the throne, though perhaps not the brightest person. She is beautiful and tends to have fun, causing problems at times. Both queens view her as a threat to the throne, while Mary on the other hand is smart. She has the bloodlines, but because of the hunched back, she is swept aside as a threat in that era. For one queen she is treated as a kind of pet, while the other treats her as a kind of confidant and sees her for who she is. Her deformed equal. If you enjoy historical fiction, you should definitely give this story a try.
JackieU More than 1 year ago
I love reading about the Tutor era and this book did not disappoint!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
ggmm More than 1 year ago
It was interesting to read about other Tudor ties to the crown of England. I always did wonder about the the execution of Lady Jane Grey and as to her blood connection that threatened her claim to the throne.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This Book was a page turner and I really enjoyed it. Will continue to read all of Elizabeth Fremantle Books.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Mirella More than 1 year ago
Sisters of Treason by Elizabeth Freemantle is set in 16th century England during a time of political upheaval. At the heart of the story are three women, the sisters Mary and Catherine Grey, and painter Levina Teerlinc. Through their collective points of view, the story unfolds. The main story plot are the struggles of the two sisters to avoid court intrigue and politics. Still reeling after the beheading of their Sister, Lady Jane Grey, Catherine and Mary find themselves pulled into court intrigue despite their attempts to keep their distance, where a single swipe of the quill or a few angry words, or even worse, the truth, will spill out and see them imprisoned in the Tower or executed. Although I had not read the previous book, The Queen's Gambit, it made no difference – this story definitely stands alone. At first I was a little apprehensive because of the over-abundance of Tudor novels on the market currently, and I am getting a little weary of them, but I have to admit I was pleasantly surprised. The author has taken us deep into the viewpoint of two lesser known women in England’s history. So for that aspect alone, I found this book unique and refreshing. Brava Elizabeth Freemantle for bringing to life women other than those married to Henry VIII! I did not expect to become so involved in this story, but I did. Lots of detail, spectacular writing, and an engaging plot kept me involved right to the very last page. Definitely a book not to overlook, especially if you are a fan of English history! I'm definitely looking forward to reading The Queen's Gambit!