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Three Maids for a Crown

3.94  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,879 Ratings  ·  142 Reviews
In the second novel from Ella March Chase, we meet sixteen-year-old Jane Grey, a quiet and obedient young lady destined to become the shortest reigning English monarch. Her beautiful middle sister Katherine Grey charms all the right people--until loyalties shift. And finally Lady Mary Grey, a dwarf with a twisted spine whose goal is simply to protect people she loves--but ...more
Paperback, 410 pages
Published August 2nd 2011 by Broadway Books (first published January 1st 2011)
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Madame Tussaud by Michelle MoranLily of the Nile by Stephanie DrayElizabeth I by Margaret GeorgeThe Second Duchess by Elizabeth LoupasDaughters of Rome by Kate Quinn
Historical Fiction 2011
27th out of 110 books — 658 voters
The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa GregoryThe Six Wives of Henry VIII by Alison WeirThe Boleyn Inheritance by Philippa GregoryThe Constant Princess by Philippa GregoryWolf Hall by Hilary Mantel
Best Books About Tudor England
76th out of 516 books — 1,347 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Christy English
Mar 15, 2011 Christy English rated it it was amazing
This a beautiful, well written novel. Lyrical prose telling the stories of the three Grey sisters. Not just the doomed Lady Jane, but her sisters Kat and Mary as well. A wonderful book.
Sep 01, 2011 Emily rated it really liked it
First off, I am reqiered to infomr you that I won this in a Goodread's Giveaway. That will not affect my review.
This is actually a pretty good book. I'm a huge fan of Queen Elizabeth. I like adore her. So to have Ella March Chase write her as really a really mean person, that was very interesting for me. I think Ella March Chase had a great story line, and wrote it well. What really drives me crazy in historical fiction from this era is that back then they spoke a lot more eloquently than we do
Jun 16, 2014 Hilary rated it it was amazing
Many Brits may vaguely remember Lady Jane Grey: she was Queen for 9 days in the 16th century (after the death of Henry VIII and before the reigns of Mary and Elizabeth) and beheaded at the tender age of 16, but that's about it for the most part. Those who studied history may remember some of the turmoil of that time, the religious tension and strife, the political weathervane of some families desperate to either stay in power or stay alive.

I studied history but didn't remember that Jane had sis
To begin with, I'm required to let everyone know that I received this book for free in a giveaway from the publisher. That being said, it still would not affect my review.

This is the story of the three Grey sisters, Jane, Katherine, and Mary, princesses of the royal Tudor family. Their great-uncle was Henry VIIi, their cousins Queen Mary Tudor and Queen Elizabeth I, their mother Frances Grey daughter of Henry VIII's younger sister Mary, Queen of France. The story opens with a prologue set in 157
You may be familiar with the “Nine Days Queen”, Jane Grey; but how much do you know about the lives of her sisters, Katherine and Mary? Ella March Chase explores these doomed sisters in her historical fiction novel, Three Maids for a Crown.

Initially, I was slightly worried by Chase’s novel due to some historical fiction fluff and inaccuracies on the early pages. For instance, one of the characters in the novel is Bess of Hardwick; whom is placed as a lady-in-waiting to Frances Brandon. The story
This was an excellent Tudor novel, telling the story of the three Grey sisters-Jane, Kat and Mary, covering the reign of Edward, Mary and Elizabeth Tudor. The book has also been published unter the title 'The Nine Day Queen' by the same author. I know that because I bought BOTH thinking they were different novels(totally different covers and blurbs!) and wasn't very happy when I found out.

This book was fascinating and intriguing. The book is written from the changing POVs of the three sisters. I
Oct 10, 2011 Kim rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Tudor fans
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I can't believe I'm saying this but I have decided to quit this book after 200 pages. I loved, loved, LOVED Ella March Chase's first novel "The Virgin Queen's Daughter" and was really looking forward to her second book. I mean, I had "Three Maids for a Crown" pre-ordered months ago!!!

I found it hard to connect to the story or the characters right from the start. The story of Jane Grey and her sisters is an interesting one - and one that can make for a great book as proved by Alison Weir a few ye
Melanie Coombes
Sep 18, 2011 Melanie Coombes rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
This is a really good read, whether you are a fan of historical fiction or not. I had heard of the story of Lady Jane Grey, but I never knew she had two sisters, Kat and Mary. The three sisters were all threats to the throne due to their royal blood and the scheming plans of their parents to place them on the throne.
What I really liked was that it was told from the three perspectives of each sister. Sections were labeled with their name, location and their age at the time. It was pretty amazing
Read It Forward
Sep 27, 2011 Read It Forward rated it it was amazing
So many RIFers loved The Virgin Queen's Daughter, and with good reason! Ella March Chase is brilliant at digging up that little-known historical nugget and building a page-turning novel around it, full of richly-realized characters. Fans of the Tudors will love this book.
Lolly's Library (Dork Kettle)
Though Chase has taken some liberties with historical record (which she acknowledges in an author's note at the rear of the book), unless you're familiar with this period of Tudor history, the changes go unnoticed in her deftly plotted and compelling narrative.

I have always been fascinated by Lady Jane Grey--young, innocent, a defenseless pawn used grievously by her parents and the Duke of Northumberland, yet, despite that, a surprisingly resolute and determined young woman--but have always over
This book is just wonderful. It broke my heart so many times while reading it. Three Maids for a Crown is not just a historical novel, it has so many emotions in it, it touched me and made me feel so much for the Grey sisters.

It's so beautifully written too. I liked the style, it's very fitting. Very often in historical novels, authors are so occupied with events that they leave their characters undeveloped. But here E. M. Chase brought to life these historical figures. Even with three different
Stacie (MagicOfBooks)
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kati Bowditch
Aug 23, 2011 Kati Bowditch rated it really liked it
This was a FirstReads win!

I absolutely fell into this book when it came, dove headfirst into the story of the three sisters Grey and didn't come up for air again until I was done. I love historical novels that come about history from a different perspective. Since not much was ever recorded of the Grey sisters thoughts and emotions surrounding the reign of Lady Jane and the years after except for pieces of letters preserved, I thought the author did a wonderful job of trying to "think" like a w
Dec 13, 2011 Lyla rated it it was amazing
I've briefly heard mention about Jane Grey before coming across this book, which I admit, I only decided to read because I've heard the author's name mentioned in passing. I was happy that my curiosity won me over. The voice she gave each character was fascinating and easy to relate to. Jane, with her will to do what's expected of her and to stay true to her faith even at her death. Kat, with her notions of being in love...and Mary, who was neglected but still managed to hold on to the end despi ...more
Sep 08, 2011 Carolynne rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Fans of Tudor History
Interesting historical fiction told from the alternating points of view of Lady Jane Grey, who was Queen of England for nine days, and her younger sisters, Katherine and Mary. The author is particularly effective at distinguishing the voices of the young Lady Katherine and Lady Mary. The latter especially becomes vividly real. Neglected and handicapped, but sharp mentally, she is able to stay out of the political turmoil that sucks in her older sisters and eventually destroys them. However, the ...more
Miss Melly
Dec 19, 2012 Miss Melly rated it really liked it
There seems to be a schism in the reviews of this novel where its historical accuracy is concerned. I had no problems with what I saw as being historically coherant with the "known facts". The author herself said that this novel is "based on historical events, but in the end it is a work of fiction." So if you are overly concerned about the issue of the poison gloves, choose something non-fiction.

I had always wanted to read a novel that told the story of all three Grey sisters, and I had tried s
Dec 01, 2011 Kristen rated it liked it
I have such mixed feelings all this one. While there wasn't anything new in regards to Jane Grey, I did learn a whole lot more about her sisters, Katherine and Mary. In most books, they don't really get much attention, so it was nice to see them a bit more fleshed out.

What irked me a great deal was the portrayal of Elizabeth I as an evil, heartless tyrant. I know that she certainly wasn't always the warmest of souls, but in this, she's portrayed more like an evil stepmother than anything else, w
Aug 09, 2011 Margaret rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Three Maids for a Crown tells the story of the tragic Lady Jane Grey and her two sisters. They lived in a time in history which has always fascinated me, and I really enjoyed this novel's fictionalized telling of their story. Ms. Chase made the characters come alive for me, especially Mary, the least famous of the siblings. It did take me a while to get used to having the narration switch amoung the three main characters. It fact, I would have preferred a different narration technique. All in al ...more
Rachel Crooks
Apr 02, 2015 Rachel Crooks rated it really liked it
I never expected to sympathize with Bloody Mary as a kindhearted queen, and I never thought Queen Elizabeth the First would stoop as low as to ruin a cousin's happiness just because of petty dislike. It is interesting how people can be memorialized in history under a death mask of popular legend and interesting novelties, while the actual knowing of a person is often much more complicated.

The Grey sisters, cousins to Mary and Elizabeth, grew up in apparent privilege as "princesses of the blood,
Nov 29, 2011 Brittany rated it it was amazing
Chase shows the lives of the Tudor women in its full horrific glory. The once bright futures of King Henry's children give way to cruel ways that ruin lives. The Grey sisters try their best to make it through the moods of their royal cousins and in the end, ill fated as they were, each leave the earthly plane with something dear to her. Ella March Chase has woven a wonderful tale and allowed a sneak peak into the lives of these very famous royals.
Bonnie Colvert
Sep 05, 2011 Bonnie Colvert rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads
This book Three Maids for a Crown: A Novel of the Grey Sister's was Amazing! Tudor era to the fullest! I felt like I was right there with these three sister's. Kat, Jane, and little Mary. The treachery, misconduct, misguidance, any and all you would expect from a good story from this time period is there! Excellent, wonderfully written. I am so glad I won this on Goodreads, it has been my pleasure to read!
Rena Massey
Sep 17, 2014 Rena Massey rated it it was amazing
This book was a fascinating story about three Tudor girls we don't hear about as much- the Grey sisters, daughters of Henry the Eighth's beautiful sister Mary. All three girls are pawns of their relatives, and dangerous to Henry's children because their royal blood makes them contenders for the throne of England. The irony is that none of them want to rule, but they go through danger and heartbreak nonetheless. Jane, quiet and scholarly, is forced to be queen, at the cost of her life. Catherine, ...more
Hannah Sunshineflower
Aug 22, 2016 Hannah Sunshineflower rated it really liked it
I didn't think I would like this book, especially because it contains a graphic rape scene that isn't particularly well written. It gets a lot more powerful after that and truly demonstrates how brave the Grey sisters were. I enjoyed the fiction aspect of it - sisters banding together through their struggles, even though they don't necessarily have happy endings - just happy moments. It also had the effect of marring my good feelings about Elizabeth I. I did some extraneous research and she real ...more
Sep 09, 2011 Terry rated it really liked it
Shelves: from-library
I give this one a 3.5/5. An easy read that kept my interest. I do not know much about the Gray sisters so I don't know how true to fact this book is. This book has made me want to find out more about them. I will have to read The Sisters Who Would Be Queen.
Pam Brown
Jun 05, 2014 Pam Brown rated it liked it
Shelves: keeper
If you like soap operas there's nothing better than Tudor England. It's my favorite era within my favorite book genre of historical fiction. Even after reading dozens of books about these people I still had to check Wikipedia before I believed the events in Three Maids for a Crown. Secret weddings, suspected murder, a hunchback, a giant... c'mon, what an imagination. But it's true, or as close to truth as historical novels can get.

I'm keeping this book to add to my shelves of Tudor England hist
Aug 05, 2011 Jennifer rated it it was ok
Book is narrated by the three Grey sisters. Too bad their voices are so similar.
Sep 22, 2014 Sofia rated it it was amazing
I'm a sucker for historical fiction (especially a la Philippa Gregory), and Ella March Chase's book totally delivered. I'm glad I read this after reading Alison Weir's book about Elizabeth I because a lot of the characters, events, and references made more sense in context (that said, I still had to look up several people and family trees on Wikipedia--damn those complicated royal bloodlines!).

Three sisters, three different perspectives on historical events and people, including Queen Mary and
Jun 19, 2016 Melissa rated it really liked it
Ella March Chase's Three Maids for a Crown focuses on the lives of England's Grey sisters - Jane, Katherine and Mary - whose descent from Henry VII and Elizabeth of York put them in direct line for the English throne. When it is apparent young Edward VI is suffering from an illness from which he will not recover, Henry Grey, Duke of Suffolk, William Herbert, Earl of Pembroke, and John Dudley, the powerful Duke of Northumberland and Lord Protector of England, plot to have Suffolk's daughter Jane ...more
Apr 15, 2016 Indra rated it did not like it
"Since the beginning of 1560, the Queen had been treating her second cousin, Lady Katherine Grey, rather more kindly than had been the case earlier in the reign. The Spanish ambassador even reported that Elizabeth talked of formally adopting Lady Katherine..."

Elizabeth I by Anne Somerset p. 178 (paperback edition)

"Lady Katherine Grey was never close to Elizabeth. Nonetheless, at her accession, Elizabeth took on the 18-year-old as a maid of honour. But, apparently, Katherine was not content wi
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Feb 11, 2015 09:14AM  
European Royalty: Dec 15 - Jan 15: Three Maids for a Crown 31 41 Dec 30, 2011 10:29AM  
  • The Queen's Rival (In the Court of Henry VIII, #3)
  • To Serve a King
  • At the King's Pleasure  (Secrets of the Tudor Court, #4 )
  • His Last Letter: Elizabeth I and the Earl of Leicester
  • At the Mercy of the Queen
  • To Die For: A Novel of Anne Boleyn (Ladies in Waiting, #1)
  • Her Highness, the Traitor
  • Pale Rose of England
  • King's Fool: A Notorious King, His Six Wives, and the One Man Who Knew All Their Secrets
  • Secrets of the Tudor Court
  • Young Bess (Elizabeth Trilogy, #1)
  • Rival to the Queen
  • Her Mother's Daughter: A Novel of Queen Mary Tudor
  • The Queen's Pleasure
  • No Will But His: A Novel of Kathryn Howard
  • The Queen's Governess
  • In a Treacherous Court (Susanna Horenbout and John Parker, #1)
  • To Be Queen: A Novel of the Early Life of Eleanor of Aquitaine
When Ella March Chase was in third grade, she informed her teacher she didn't need to learn multiplication tables because she was going to be a famous writer when she grew up. At twenty-five, she combined her passion for researching history and spinning stories. Her daughter Kate claims even the family dogs were discovered while researching King Charles II-- Cavalier King Charles Spaniels.
When tr
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“Edward was dead. The magnitude of the news reverberated through me, thickening the air. His suffering was over. Yet what had he left behind? An England torn between Catholic and Protestant.” 2 likes
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