A Dangerous Inheritance by Alison Weir

ISBN: 978-0-345-51189-8
Published by: Ballantine Books
Publication Date: October 2012
Price: $27.00 (US)

Synopsis from the Publisher:

In this engrossing novel of historical suspense, New York Times bestselling author Alison Weir tells the dramatic intertwined stories of two women—Katherine Grey and Kate Plantagenet—separated by time but linked by twin destinies . . . . involving the mysterious tragic fate of the young Princes in the Tower.
 
When her older sister, Lady Jane Grey, the Nine Days’ Queen, is executed in 1554 for unlawfully accepting the English crown, Lady Katherine Grey’s world falls apart. Barely recovered from this tragic loss she risks all for love, only to incur the wrath of her formidable cousin Queen Elizabeth I, who sees Katherine as a rival for her insecure throne.
 
 Interlaced with Katherine’s story is that of her distant kinswoman Kate Plantagenet, the bastard daughter of Richard III, the last Plantagenet king. In 1483, Kate travels to London for Richard’s coronation, and her world changes forever.
 
 Kate loves her father, but before long she hears terrible rumors about him that threaten all she holds dear. Like Katherine Grey, she falls in love with a man who is forbidden to her. Then Kate embarks on what will become a perilous quest, covertly seeking the truth about what befell her cousins the Princes in the Tower, who may have been victims of Richard III’s lust for power. But time is not on Kate’s side, or on Katherine’s.
 
 Katherine finds herself a prisoner in the Tower of London, the sinister fortress that overshadowed the lives of so many royal figures, including the boy princes. Will Elizabeth demand the full penalty for treason? And what secrets will Katherine find hidden within the Tower walls?
 
 Alison Weir’s new novel is a page-turning story set within a framework of fascinating historical authenticity. In this rich and layered tapestry, Katherine and Kate discover that possessing royal blood can prove to be a dangerous inheritance.

Why I Liked A Dangerous Inheritance

I could be a little prejudice here, because I love 15th century England. It was a terrible time, especially for women, and Alison Weir knows that. She beautifully portrays the hardships women underwent, especially how worthless they were to men at that time. Pawns in a game, disrespected more often than not, and sold in business transactions called marriages. Kudos to Weir for having that come across to readers so well.

Another reason I liked this book is because I like this story. There is so much mystery and intrigue behind Richard III and the lost princes of the tower, that the plot is ripe for a fiction novel. Did Richard have his own nephews killed? Who knows. But Alison Weir takes a crack at finding out, and it was well done. I also like the story of Elizabeth I and like how she was portrayed in Weir’s book. Formidable, yet vulnerable.

I liked the characters, the protagonists and the sub-characters, and was enthralled with how Katherine set about discovering the truth. There were moments where both Kate and Katherine’s choices irritated me, but that was to be expected as each of them came of age and got wiser.

I also think this book was great for the historical facts included. Alison Weir is a scholar of the era and has written a great many non-fiction works. At the end of A Dangerous Inheritance she reveals the truth of the matter, and admits the areas in which she took some liberties. I think that made this book all the more fun to read.

Why I Did Not Like A Dangerous Inheritance

Unfortunately, there was one thing about this book that I just could not get over. Weir wrote this story in first person, from the perspectives of the two different Kates as the respective heroines. I will say that she tried admirably to keep the stories separated by using Kate or Katherine respectively, and did not deter from those names in their respective POV’s. But, no matter how hard I tried, I was still left floundering in the dust of the story. Weir always cleared it up, but I did not like being confused so much.

Do I Think You Should Buy It

A Dangerous Inheritance is a good story, point blank! However, I do not know if it is buy-off-the-shelf-worthy. At 27 bucks a pop, I would hold off until this one is on sale. But I WOULD get it. Eventually. The story really is a good one and I do recommend you read it, I just think the effort you have to put into keeping the story straight makes it a buy-on-sale book.

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