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Sisters of Treason

(The Tudor Trilogy #2)

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  2,061 ratings  ·  324 reviews
Early in Mary Tudor’s turbulent reign, Lady Catherine and Lady Mary Grey are reeling after the brutal execution of their elder seventeen-year-old sister, Lady Jane Grey, and the succession is by no means stable.

Neither sister is well suited to a dangerous life at court. Flirtatious Lady Catherine, thought to be the true heir, cannot control her compulsion to love and be l
Hardcover, 436 pages
Published July 8th 2014 by Simon & Schuster
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3.81  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,061 ratings  ·  324 reviews

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Mar 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
The late 16th century was quite unique in that for an extended period, all potential heirs to the throne were female, and it is against this backdrop that ' Sisters Of Treason' is set. It mainly focuses on three Tudor figures, normally given scant regard in the history books, they are, Lady Katherine Grey, Lady Mary Grey, ( sisters of the deposed nine day Queen, Jane), and Flemish born Levina Teerlinc, court painter. This was a particulary uncertain period, when switching allegiances among the n ...more
After finishing Queen's Gambit, I knew that I had to read Fremantle's take on the unfortunate Grey sisters.

(Contains historical facts that may be spoilers to some.)

I love the fact that this story is about Katherine and Mary and their lives after the execution of their sister Jane, rather than the much-told story of Jane's life. While I love Jane's story and think she had amazing potential, this story was more unique.

The novel is told from the POV of each of the sisters and artist, Levina Teerli
Sean Barrs the Bookdragon
From early on in the book, it was clear that there was little to keep me reading. There was no plot driver or anything that made me want to finish the book. Obviously, Mary I was going to die and Elizabeth succeed her as queen. I should have been eager to see this happen: hungry to watch the characters thrust into this political hornets’ nest but, I just didn’t care.

The author failed to create the feeling of sympathy for her characters. Take Katherine for her example, her sister has died so she
Sep 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
The Tudors have been written about so much in the past several years that I've found myself having a desire to bypass most of them! This novel was different in that it looked at the Grey girls who really have been omitted almost entirely from the Tudors history! It was refreshing in a bitter sweet way to find out more about the lives of these girls that were 'cursed' with Tudor blood! Well written and easy to read, this novel gave a very good glimpse into who these girls may have been and the tu ...more
Nov 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Find this and other reviews at: http://flashlightcommentary.blogspot....

I was eager to get my hands on Elizabeth Fremantle's Sisters of Treason. I read The Queen's Rivals last year and while I enjoyed Purdy's take on the Grey sisters, the book lacked the gravitas I crave. I needed something I could sink my teeth into, something with a little more meat on the bone if you get my meaning.

Fremantle caught my attention with Queen Gambit, but I'll be honest, I think her sophomore release stronger tha
Jan 20, 2017 marked it as dnf  ·  review of another edition
Made it just over 100 pages in (111 to be exact). There's just no narrative to this. There are 3 POVs - Katharine, a whiny self-involved girl who goes from crying over a boy to suddenly a lesbian? bisexual?; Mary, a younger girl who is either lamenting her deformity or being treated like a baby by the Queen; and Lavinia, an artist who just talks about hiding how she's not a Catholic. None of the POVs are engaging and I don't care about any of the characters. The best historical fictions find the ...more
Bookish Ally
Jul 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In looking back through history you will find that, for the most part, it is the women’s lives who have the most blank spots when it comes to chronicling events.

I have never really looked at the Grey family - perhaps because the Grey girls lives were so tragic, and often when I go to read it is difficult to look closely upon a life in which celebrations were short and tears were frequent (although at this time, pain was hidden)

It falls on the shoulders of the author of historical fiction to tak
I will state right now that Philippa Gregory has SERIOUS competition. Elizabeth Fremantle is by far the best historical fiction writer I have come across in years.

In "Sisters of Treason" she tells the story of Lady Jane Grey's two younger sisters, Katherine and Mary. Katherine, who was a serious contender as Elizabeth I's heir, and Mary, who suffered the curse of the Plantagenet's, scoliosis, are often ignored by historical fiction writers in favour of their cousin, Mary, Queen of Scots.

 Linda (Miss Greedybooks)
I was awarded this book by NetGalley - the morning I got the approval email - it had been archived and I could not download it!!! I sent an email to the publisher & they allowed me access!

I am SO happy they did, I enjoyed this book. As much as I have read about QE1 and family, I only knew a little of Lady Jane Grey, and nothing of her sisters Katherine and Mary.

It wasn't until the chapter named Kitty & Mouse that I thought about their nicknames that way. I liked that.

I really loved the
Girl with her Head in a Book
Katherine Grey has been having a great few years lately - just a bit unfortunate that this comes nearly five hundred years after she had a fairly unhappy life. Given that previous to around 2011, the only reason Ladies Katherine and Mary Grey had really only clung on to the historical record as Lady Jane Grey's sisters, this is quite a weather change. Leanda De Lisle's book The Sisters Who Would Be Queen seems to have lit a spark that started a real old bonfire and so the forgotten Grey girls ar ...more
K.S. Marsden
Feb 20, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The young Grey sisters witness the unsettled English court from within. Their royal blood makes them targets for bigger plots.

I won this book in a Goodreads First Read competition a while back, and I do feel a little guilty that I've taken this long to review it.

This is a very grey book about the Grey sisters.
It opens with the execution of Lady Jane Grey - the Queen who succeeded Edward VI for all of 9 nines day before Mary I's supporters took the crown.

I'm afraid to say that this scene was the
Apr 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
ARC received from NetGalley.

I started Sisters of Treason shortly after finishing the last book in alternative history trilogy by Laura Andersen. Where the latter novel portrays Mary Tudor as a self-described pious martyr of her faith and Elizabeth as practical and devoted to preserving the integrity of the crown, Fremantle's story casts them in a light more in tune to how they've been portrayed in fiction (Mary delusional and melancholy, Elizabeth cunning and not necessarily trusting of everybod
Cora Tea Party Princess
DNF at page 120 - I just couldn't settle in to this book.

Maybe it's the setting, as I'm more comfortable reading earlier history (Go, Matilda!). But then again, I like Elizabeth Moss/Victoria Lamb and that's the same time period. I'll likely try this one again in future.

I received a copy of this for free via Goodreads First Reads.
This was interesting. I like that it focuses on lesser known Tudor family members
The Grey sisters (Jane, Katherine, Mary) lived dangerous, tragic lives under the Tudor queens and Elizabeth Fremantle's fine novel brings their stories to life. A powerful and emotional read, it is impossible not to care for these young girls while also fearing the charismatic but in many ways monstrous queens. A fine successor to last year's The Queen's Gambit.

Feb 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The story of Lady Jane Grey, crowned Queen of England for 9 days following the death of Henry VIII's son, Edward, and prior to Mary Tudor's (often referred to as Bloody Mary) ascension to the throne is one of my favorite stories from this tumultuous time period. This story begins with the execution of 17-yr-old Jane Grey and continues with the lives of her two sisters, Lady Katherine Grey and Lady Mary Grey who both were ladies-in-waiting to Queen Mary Tudor and then Elizabeth I. An absolutely f ...more
Colleen Turner
Find my full review at

Tudor history is one of those time periods that has been written about every possible way, with just about every person of note highlighted and nearly every corner unearthed to try and present the history in a new and interesting light. While I still can't get enough of the Tudors I do understand why many readers have all but banned them from their reading lists....there's just been such an over-saturation of the subject matter! So wha
Apr 26, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this fictional account of the lives of Katherine and Mary Grey, younger sisters of Lady Jane Grey; the ill-fated nine day Queen. I tried to read Leanda de Lisle's "The Sisters Who Would Be Queen"--a non-fiction book of the Grey sisters--a few years back but unfortunately I just couldn't get into it for some reason. This novel however truly brought Mary and Katherine's stories to life for me, much in the same way that Alison Weir's "Innocent Traitor" did for Jane. I greatly enjoy ...more
Whitney (First Impressions Reviews)
Fond Of

The opening scene with Jane Grey at the block really caught my attention, holding me in suspense despite knowing the outcome and set a firm tone to the novel.

Like Queen's Gambit, Sisters of Treason was visually stunning and could clearly see the story that was playing out.

The Sisters in question were well built and instantly felt for them, I particularly liked Mary, she was the tortoise of the childhood fable that everyone just has to route for. Kathrine on the other hand is the hare, hu
Jul 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
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 intri ...more
The story is told by 3 people: Katherine Grey, Mary Grey and court painter Levina Teerlinc and it worked well for this book.

My favourite was definitely Mary and I really wished it could have ended happily for her. Being crook backed definitely didn’t make things easy for her and people can be so cruel. And yet she remained kind and gentle despite everything. Her sister’s death had deep impact on her and taught how dangerous it can be to have royal blood in your veins.

Katherine was the type tha
After a couple of disappointing historical novels it was so good to read this, which was so well written and obviously well-researched covering the reigns of Mary I and Elizabeth I.

The story is narrated by Katherine and Mary Grey with a third perspective in third person focusing on Levina Teerkinc, a Flemish painter who served in the courts of Edward VI, Mary I and Elizabeth I. I had not known anything about Levina as she was not mentioned in my art history courses even though the tutors were s
May 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent historical fiction, my favourite genre! Set in Tudor England in the unsettled period following death of Henry VIII and his son, the boy King, Edward VI. The book begins with the beheading of Lady Jane Grey, the 9 day Queen, and follows the troubled lives of her two sisters, Katherine and Mary. The Courts of Henry's daughters, Mary and Elizabeth are hotbeds of dangerous intrigue and both the Grey girls, being so close to the Crown, are unable to escape the dreadful consequences of all t ...more
Sally Howes
I've read several books about the Grey family, but this is definitely my favourite. The three point-of-view characters are each so different, unique, and vivid, and the quality of the writing is a step above the rest, approaching "literary fiction" level at times. Highly recommended!
Amy Bruno
Just finished and crying like a baby! Review pending...
Jessie  (Ageless Pages Reviews)
Pretty good -- some interesting/different ideas applied to the lives of the Grey women (better relationship with their mother, Katherine's bisexuality) but also far too long.

Review to come.
Nov 26, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is Elizabeth Fremantle's second historical fiction novel. I read her first book, Queen's Gambit, last year and was quite impressed by it, so I've been looking forward to reading this one. It didn't disappoint me – I actually found it a more compelling and enjoyable book than the first. Although Fremantle's books are set in Tudor England, a very popular choice with historical fiction authors, it would seem that she's trying to write about some of the lesser known female figures of the period ...more
Monique Snyman
Jul 22, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Ladies and gentlemen, I would like to introduce you all to the successor to Phillipa Gregory's historical fiction throne. Elizabeth Fremantle has an eloquence in her writing that few authors are able to capture, yet is so very important for a book of this specific nature. It's beautiful, descriptive, intelligently written, and the amount of research that went into this novel is quite impressive.

Sisters of Treason is written out of three perspectives: Katharine Grey, the middle Grey sister who's

Aug 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Lady Jane Grey was Queen of England for nine days. Named as the heir to the throne by her cousin King Edward, she was also included in the line of succession of King Henry VIII’s will behind his own children.
After Lady Jane and her husband Guildford Dudley were beheaded for treason, Lady Jane left behind two sisters, Lady Katherine, and Lady Mary who would also be pawns in the game for the throne of England.

Lady Katherine was married to Harry Herbert when she was 12 on the same day her sister J
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Elizabeth Fremantle is the critically acclaimed author of Tudor and Elizabethan set novels: Queen's Gambit, Sisters of Treason, Watch the Lady and The Girl in the Glass Tower. Her most recent novel, published under the name EC Fremantle, is the historical thriller The Poison Bed, described by MJ Carter as 'a Jacobean Gone Girl.'

She lives in London and Norfolk

Other books in the series

The Tudor Trilogy (3 books)
  • Queen's Gambit (The Tudor Trilogy, #1)
  • Watch the Lady (The Tudor Trilogy, #3)
“I remember Maman once saying of the old Queen that power corrupts. I have thought much on it and it seems to me that it is not power that corrupts, but the fear of its loss," she pauses with a sigh. After all Mary and Elizabeth Tudor were just girls once, not so different from my sisters, or any other girls, for the that matter. It is fear that changed them.” 2 likes
“they have been apart for several weeks and will have to find one another again among the detritus of their separate experience.” 2 likes
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