Monday, October 17, 2011

Review: Three Maids for a Crown by Ella March Chase

Publish Date: August 2011
Format: Paperback 432pp

Synopsis (From the Publisher):
"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 at a terrible cost.

In an age in which begetting sons was all that mattered and queens rose and fell on the sex of their child, these three girls with royal Tudor blood lived under the dangerous whims of parents with a passion for gambling. The stakes they would wager: their daughters' lives against rampant ambition."

My Review:

Three Maids for a Crown follows the lives of the Grey sisters, Jane, Katherine and Mary, as they are used as pawns throughout their life in the political battle for the crown of England. The story is narrated by each sister, with some chapters having multiple narrators. It is through their eyes we witness the forceful and greedy nature of the Duke of Northumberland and their parents, the uncertainty of England's future, and the dire consequences of their families actions. As the chapters progress the reader is compelled to read each sisters tragic story, and is ultimately rewarded with a deeper understanding of their lives and devotion to the ones they love.

Looking back on the structure of the novel, I am quite impressed with how smoothly Ella made the transitions between the multiple narrations of the novel. Often times multiple narrations, especially in the middle of a chapter, lead to a choppy feeling and sometimes confusion, but this felt effortless and increased the dynamics of the plot quite well. Out of all the characters I was most interested in the sections dedicated to Mary Grey and Princess/Queen Mary. Unlike the others, their story read at a quick pace and I thoroughly enjoyed their unique personalities. One aspect I was quite intrigued by was the portal of Princess/Queen Elizabeth. We all know her as England's most beloved Queen, a woman of fierce spirit and temper, and the kinder one when compared to her sister Mary, but in this novel Mary becomes the tender one while Elizabeth is cruel and completely unlikable. If you are an ardent fan of Elizabeth do not let this hinder you from reading this novel for it was very refreshing to see both sisters portrayed in a different light. Overall, Three Maids for a Crown is an enjoyable novel that will have your heart aching for a multitude of characters and leave you closing the book wanting to read more about these brave Grey sisters.

Copyright © 2011 Svea Love. All Rights Reserved.
FTC: I received this book from the publisher. As always, these are my own honest opinions.


Melissa @ Confessions of an Avid Reader said...

Thanks for the review. I'm glad you enjoyed the novel as I'm about 30 pages into the book right now and so far so good!

Mystica said...

Thank you for the post. I really liked all the information (my knowledge on this subject was sketchy).

Carrie at In the Hammock Blog said...

I like that you describe them as brave and fierce! Love it when the heroines are portrayed as so strong!

Unknown said...

Glad to hear this was a good book - I have always been interested in the Grey sisters. Changing narrators can be challenging!