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Thursday, April 12, 2012

Her Highness The Traitor by Susan Higginbotham

Her Highness The Traitor by Susan Higginbotham
Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark
Genre: Historical, Paranormal, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full Length (301 pgs)
Heat Level: Sensual
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Peppermint

When Henry VIII dies, leaving behind his nine-year-old son as his heir, a deadly series of power struggles begins, transforming the lives of two women. Jane Dudley's husband, the Duke of Northumberland, becomes the most powerful man in England, while Frances Grey perches with her daughter Jane dangerously close to the throne. But when Mary Tudor asserts her own right to the crown, Frances and Jane Dudley find that the lives of their husbands and children are in mortal danger. The never-before-told story of the women behind the crowning of Jane Grey, this novel is an illuminating tale of ambition gone awry.

Love, treason, and betrayal are the spice of life in this historical fiction story. Based in the 1500’s after Henry VIII’s death, this story was full of drama and passion. The author transported me to a time of Victorian dresses and kings and I loved every second of it.

I have always been fascinated by English history, and this story helped to feed my long running addiction. The author did a spectacular job capturing the period and made me feel as if I were transported through time and became a lady during this era. I even found myself speaking as if I was from the time period at times. This proves how enthralled by this story I truly was. As with any novel of this nature, it did take me a few paragraphs to “get into the act” so to speak since it's based on a different time period with different verbiage, but the author did an excellent job in making sure it was understandable while still maintaining that old English feeling.

One thing I did struggle with during the story was following the characters at times. This story follows two separate women, Jane Dudley and Frances Grey, and their families. Part of the confusion was that there were sometimes two characters with the same name, such as two women named Jane. While I understand why since the author was trying to stay true to the actual people, it did make things a bit puzzling at times.

The author truly did history justice when writing this story. One essential aspect about writing historical fiction is to try to keep it as authentic as possible. This author more than exceeded that goal. She even incorporated Author’s Notes at the end to explain the information provided, the validity of it and any discrepancies that may exist. She stayed as true to the story and characters as history allowed her, and it certainly helped create an inspired story. Had history class been this entertaining in school I would have learned so much more.

This is a story you couldn’t make up if you wanted to. The plot was so riveting I couldn't get enough. While the Dudleys and Greys had little in common, other than status, their lives seemed to be continuously entangled with one another from the beginning right to the bitter end. This story had every type of twist and turns imaginable and in the end, it left me wanting even more.

This is a story I would not only recommend to readers of this review but people I personally know and I plan on encouraging them to read this story. It's that good.