Review: Innocent Traitor by Alison Weir

Review: Innocent Traitor by Alison WeirInnocent Traitor by Alison Weir
Narrator: Bianca Amato, Davina Porter, Stina Nielsen
Length: 18 Hours 14 Minutes
Published by Random House LLC on 2007-02-27
Genres: Fiction, Historical, Sagas
Pages: 402
Format: Audiobook
Source: Purchased
Buy on Amazon

BONUS: This edition contains an excerpt from Alison Weir's Mary Boleyn.I am now a condemned traitor . . . I am to die when I have hardly begun to live. Historical expertise marries page-turning fiction in Alison Weir’s enthralling debut novel, breathing new life into one of the most significant and tumultuous periods of the English monarchy. It is the story of Lady Jane Grey–“the Nine Days’ Queen” –a fifteen-year-old girl who unwittingly finds herself at the center of the religious and civil unrest that nearly toppled the fabled House of Tudor during the sixteenth century. The child of a scheming father and a ruthless mother, for whom she is merely a pawn in a dynastic game with the highest stakes, Jane Grey was born during the harrowingly turbulent period between Anne Boleyn’s beheading and the demise of Jane’s infamous great-uncle, King Henry VIII. With the premature passing of Jane’ s adolescent cousin, and Henry’s successor, King Edward VI, comes a struggle for supremacy fueled by political machinations and lethal religious fervor. Unabashedly honest and exceptionally intelligent, Jane possesses a sound strength of character beyond her years that equips her to weather the vicious storm. And though she has no ambitions to rule, preferring to immerse herself in books and religious studies, she is forced to accept the crown, and by so doing sets off a firestorm of intrigue, betrayal, and tragedy. Alison Weir uses her unmatched skills as a historian to enliven the many dynamic characters of this majestic drama. Along with Lady Jane Grey, Weir vividly renders her devious parents; her much-loved nanny; the benevolent Queen Katherine Parr; Jane’s ambitious cousins; the Catholic “Bloody” Mary, who will stop at nothing to seize the throne; and the protestant and future queen Elizabeth. Readers venture inside royal drawing rooms and bedchambers to witness the power-grabbing that swirls around Lady Jane Grey from the day of her birth to her unbearably poignant death. Innocent Traitor paints a complete and compelling portrait of this captivating young woman, a faithful servant of God whose short reign and brief life would make her a legend. “An impressive debut. Weir shows skill at plotting and maintaining tension, and she is clearly going to be a major player in the . . . historical fiction game.” –The Independent “Alison Weir is one of our greatest popular historians. In her first work of fiction . . . Weir manages her heroine’s voice brilliantly, respecting the past’s distance while conjuring a dignified and fiercely modern spirit.” –London Daily Mail

In college I squandered all of my European history credits on Medieval history and World War II. I never took a class where we studied the Tudors in depth. However, like Twain, I try to self-educate by reading voraciously. When I had signed up for Audible, I had no idea what book to use my free credit on. I came across the audible top first listens and stumbled upon Innocent Traitor by Alison Weir. I’ve had Weir’s non-fiction on my TBR for awhile but had not done much digging into her fiction. What a dumb idea. Seriously, her historical fiction is actually quite decent. And really, if you don’t believe you can learn anything through fiction, then you have no business being here.

Innocent Traitor is about the Nine Days Queen, Lady Jane Grey who was on the throne after Henry’s son Edward died. The book begins with the narration of Davina Porter as Lady Frances of Dorset, Jane’s mother. Frances is yammering on about giving birth and how it feels less noble, and how she doesn’t like it because it is not dignified. I tend to agree (I saw the Miracle of Life… grosssss). Anyways, she pops out a girl and is all FML I wanted a boy. Then her and her hubs are all, let’s make Jane marry Henry’s son! Later, we see Jane grow into a young woman.

Characterized by intelligence, an inquiring mind, and strict devotion to Protestantism, Jane had a strength I greatly admired. She puts up with so much BS but holds her ground, and I really, really like that. I mean, I regret not taking a history class where I could learn about Jane. Also, the person who did her voice, Stina Nielson was spot on with emotions. She made Jane sound like a girl just on the cusp of womanhood. Her vocals were excellent.

I think my favorite thing about this audiobook of Innocent Traitor were the multiple narrators. It kept the story fresh. Plus, the different voices made each character distinctive. I mean, this was a book I could work out to and not worry how much freakin longer until the chapter ends.

So, what do you all read when you are self-educating? Any particular period of history you enjoy reading/learning about?

Other Reviews:

Tin Heart Tomes

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April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.
About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.


  1. I sorta squandered my history/literature credits away as well. So I can understand the self-education. I usually try to read relatively accurate historical fiction or literature from the time period I’m looking at. I was really into the French Revolution a while back, and I read all about Marie Antoinette and such. I think the Tutors will be my next project, because there seems to be so many great fiction written about that time period. Great review and recommendation!

  2. I liked this book a lot, there was so much information to be had that has often been difficult to find elsewhere. And sure you can say that it’s fiction and so not all of it is factual, but for the most part you can see that it is and that the fiction parts provide an idea of what could have been. It took me a while to get used to the way Weir writes her fiction because she includes so many facts, but now I love it.

    • I havnt really finished the book i started it and i love it before i was more into katherine howard and her story but now this is soooooooooooooo much better i was aiming for the book romeo and juliet but i cant find it yes i know i am a geek about books loe em if u hav an idea where i can find a romeo and juliet book reply!


  3. I listened to this on audio in November. I thought it was fantastic. I have gone on book binges about Elizabeth I in the past, but I never read up on Lady Jane Grey. After reading this one, I looked up several more titles, nonfiction and fiction ones. Have you listened to Weir’s The Lady Elizabeth? I liked that one as well. Also, I adore Rosalyn Landor as narrator. She is amazing. (The Lady Elizabeth)


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