Monday, October 22, 2012

My review of A Dangerous Inheritance by Alison Weir

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?

Lady Katherine Grey

'A Dangerous Inheritance' is a work of fiction divided into four parts, chronologically covering the lives of Lady Katherine Grey (1553-1563)  and Kate Plantagenet (1483-1487). Along with a very helpful Afterword, there are four family tree's: The Royal House of Tudor, The Royal Houses of Lancaster and York, The Herbert Family, and The Seymour Family. Personally, I would have been lost without these to refer back to. There are a lot of historical figures and family members included in the plot and storyline, so if the reader is not well versed with The Plantagenets, I would recommend keeping these handy! 

Overall, I enjoyed 'A Dangerous Inheritance.' I am very familiar with dual storylines with corresponding chapters that go back and forth within geographical locations, eras, etc. Historian and storyteller, Alison Weir does a fine job keeping the history in tact while throwing in some 'devices' to keep the reader enthralled. For instance, the dialogue's between jailer, Sir Edward Warner and Katherine Grey, I enjoyed reading and thought it gave 'A Dangerous Inheritance' a fresh perspective on an old tale! 

Prevalent throughout, 'A Dangerous Inheritance' is one of my absolute favorite women, Elizabeth I, cousin to The Grey Family, written as a strong ruler yet not as ruthless as found in other works of fiction. Some Tudor notables mentioned as with Edward VI still surprises me to read about but fun nonetheless. 

I enjoyed reading Lady Katherine Grey's storyline for the innocence of first love even if it was an 'arranged marriage.' Katherine was a young girl who was very close with her sister Jane Grey, who loved and respected her parents but more importantly seemed to obey them without much fuss. I found Kate Plantagenet, although much less familiar with her history, she was still just a bit too serious, easily distracted and a bit gullible at times. I admired her fighting spirit and love of family as well, but found myself too disinterested in her storyline. This is probably just bad timing with all the 'Richard III' revival happening now! 
 
I will say overall, if you are new to the history of The Plantagenets and The Grey Family, you will be enthralled. However, if you know about the histories, you could find yourself easily bored! 

Please feel free to leave any comments,

2 comments:

Daphne said...

I've had mixed results with Weir's fiction in the past, but am planning on reading this one at some point.

Kimberly Eve said...

Hi Daphne, I know what you mean about Alison Weir's fiction but hopefully you'll enjoy this one!
Thanks for visiting and commenting.

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