Monday, 28 March 2016

The Lady of Misrule by Suzannah Dunn

Title: The Lady of Misrule
Author: Suzannah Dunn
From: Netgalley
Genre: Historical Fiction
Release Date: 7th March 2015
Challenges: 2016 Netgalley & Edelweiss Challenge, 2016 Blogger Shame
Links: Goodreads - Amazon

No one is more surprised than Elizabeth Tilney when she volunteers to wait on Lady Jane Grey as she waits in the Tower of London for her treason trial. Once there she finds herself faced with a woman unwilling to bend in her faith in the new Protestant Church and her husband, who seems to be little more than a child. But spending more time with Jane Grey and her husband, Guildford Dudley, means that Elizabeth finds herself caring more and making friends with the unlikely couple...

Right quick history lesson (because even us Brits are a bit rusty on our history! Luckily for me the Tudor period is one I am more knowledgable about!) Lady Jane Grey (otherwise known as the 9 Day Queen) was the descendant of Henry VIII's younger sister Mary and was appointed the heir by King Edward VI (Henry VIII's only son) in an attempt to keep the Catholic Mary I (Henry VIII's eldest child) from the throne. She only reigned for 9 days before Mary I rose to power and was kept in the tower until her excecution, along with her husband Guildford, after Wyatt's revolution (which she had nothing to do with).

The thing with books like The Lady of Misrule is that you know how they're going to end, but in this case I found myself getting a little emotional towards the end and hoping for a different ending despite knowing Jane and Guildford's fate. It surprised me because I hadn't been mad on the book for the rest of it, but the ending somehow just really got to me.

Elizabeth was an interesting character. I thought Dunn managed to capture the difference contrast between Elizabeth (and Jane)'s age (17) and naivety as well as the fact that they grew up in a time where that was considered fully grown. Elizabeth wasn't your traditional innocent character which added another level.

I liked how Jane and Guildford both grew throughout the book, not just because of their general growth but also in the way that Elizabeth felt about them. I do think that this could be one of the reasons that the ending hit so hard. That plus there's only a small cast of characters.

This was a good read, though it didn't blow me away.