A Novel of the Grey Sisters
Kensington Books
ISBN: 978-0-7582-6599-9
July 2013
Historical Fiction

England, 1548 – 1577

The Grey sisters were not only cousins to England's Tudor princes, but they were the daughters of parents who wanted nothing more than to marry their daughters to the “right men”. Each of the sisters, however, had her own plan for the future, and this novel is about how they would try to circumvent their parents' plans.

Jane Grey was the pious sister. The last thing in the world she wanted was to marry. She took the brunt of her mother's anger by defying her every order. In the end, though, marriage was not only an option, and she was wed to the dandy Guildford Dudley in hopes that her royal connections, her legitimate birth, and her steadfast Protestant beliefs would result in the throne, if and when King Edward died.

Katherine was the beauty of the family and her mother's pride and joy. All Kate wanted in life was to be in love and marry. With her heart ruling her life, Kate was bound to make wrong choices, and when she did, there were dire consequences.

The story of the three sisters is narrated by the third and youngest, Mary. She was the negotiator, the one who could observe life around her without actually participating. Mary was called The Goblin Lady, for she grew no taller than a child, and had a twisted spine and rotted teeth. Her mother despised her, ashamed that she could have birthed such a daughter. But it is Mary who learns from her sisters what love truly is as they are all they have, and for as long as they live, each knows her sisters will stand by her.

These are troubled times in England with a young king who is frail, and his two older sisters who are both determined to succeed him. With Jane manipulated into a position that can have only one ending, Kate yearning for the one she loves, and Mary finding her own joy, albeit short lived, the Grey sisters lead short, but very eventful lives.

Nicely written and well researched, THE QUEEN'S RIVALS is yet another of Brandy Purdy's Tudor novels. The story of the Grey sisters is one that hasn't been told, at least as far as introducing all three sisters, and this book was eye opening and heartbreaking. Do check out the author's website for a list of her previous books: .

Jani Brooks