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A Dangerous Inheritance (unabridged audiobook)

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The year is 1562. Lady Catherine Grey, cousin of Elizabeth I, has just been arrested along with her husband Edward. Their crime is to have secretly married and produced a child who might threaten the Queen's title. Alone in her chamber at the Tower of London, Catherine hears ghostly voices; echoes, she thinks, of a crime committed in the same room where she is imprisoned The year is 1562. Lady Catherine Grey, cousin of Elizabeth I, has just been arrested along with her husband Edward. Their crime is to have secretly married and produced a child who might threaten the Queen's title. Alone in her chamber at the Tower of London, Catherine hears ghostly voices; echoes, she thinks, of a crime committed in the same room where she is imprisoned…


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The year is 1562. Lady Catherine Grey, cousin of Elizabeth I, has just been arrested along with her husband Edward. Their crime is to have secretly married and produced a child who might threaten the Queen's title. Alone in her chamber at the Tower of London, Catherine hears ghostly voices; echoes, she thinks, of a crime committed in the same room where she is imprisoned The year is 1562. Lady Catherine Grey, cousin of Elizabeth I, has just been arrested along with her husband Edward. Their crime is to have secretly married and produced a child who might threaten the Queen's title. Alone in her chamber at the Tower of London, Catherine hears ghostly voices; echoes, she thinks, of a crime committed in the same room where she is imprisoned…

30 review for A Dangerous Inheritance (unabridged audiobook)

  1. 4 out of 5

    Andrea

    I finished reading "A Dangerous Inheritance," but as a former member of the Richard III Society (dedicated to clearing his name and to proving he didn't kill the little princes) I'm pretty sorry I bought this book. It's a good read, but it makes my blood boil to read about Richard as villain and I hate to support such allegations with my book money. I suggest that people wanting to know more about the era and the issues read Josephine Tey's "The Daughter of Time."

  2. 4 out of 5

    Sarah (Presto agitato)

    A Dangerous Inheritance weaves together the stories of two women of the Plantagenet/Tudor eras. The first is Katherine (Kate) Plantagenet (? - before 1487), the illegitimate daughter of Richard III. She is largely a fictional creation as little is known about her life. The second is the somewhat better known Katherine Grey (1540-1568), a sister of Lady Jane Grey who was herself imprisoned in the Tower of London for many years for marrying Edward Seymour without Queen Elizabeths permission. Her A Dangerous Inheritance weaves together the stories of two women of the Plantagenet/Tudor eras. The first is Katherine (“Kate”) Plantagenet (? - before 1487), the illegitimate daughter of Richard III. She is largely a fictional creation as little is known about her life. The second is the somewhat better known Katherine Grey (1540-1568), a sister of Lady Jane Grey who was herself imprisoned in the Tower of London for many years for marrying Edward Seymour without Queen Elizabeth’s permission. Her real crime was in being too close in succession order to the throne. The ever-paranoid Elizabeth, always worried about rebellion, was afraid of her having a son. There is a subtle supernatural element here hinting at a connection between these two women. They had a tangential family relationship. During the Lady Jane Grey debacle, Katherine Grey was married briefly to the great-nephew of Kate Plantagenet’s husband. It’s not exactly a compelling justification for this link that somehow transcends the laws of time and space. The more likely element that ties them together is curiosity about the fate of the Princes in the Tower, the nephews of Richard III who disappeared as he took the throne. For Katherine Grey, her interest seems to be largely due to boredom while cooped up in the Tower, but for Kate it is more personal as she doesn’t want to believe her father could have been responsible for doing away with the Princes. The stories themselves are interesting ones, but the connection between the stories and the two heroines wasn’t convincing enough to justify switching back and forth between them. A story about Katherine Grey or the Princes or even Kate Plantagenet could probably stand on its own and be stronger for it. Here everything gets a little muddled. Alison Weir is known for her histories of the eras covered in this book, but she has ventured into historical fiction with a few other books. Her historical detail and knowledge of the times added to the story without overwhelming it. Her conclusions about the Princes will be controversial for many, just as her history of that topic (The Princes in the Tower) was among some (view spoiler)[pro-Richard (hide spoiler)] readers. In historical fiction, plausibility is key. Weir's setting is authentic. Aside from the vague supernatural undertone, so are most of the thoughts and actions of the characters. The idea of using parallel stories was an ambitious one, though, and the connection wasn’t clear enough and the voices of the characters were not distinct enough for it to be completely successful.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Orsolya

    The Princes in the Tower are a delicious historical mystery which still mystifies many Anglophiles. Alison Weirs new angle on the mystery portrays Kate Plantagenet and Katherine Grey attempting to unravel some of the dark secrets behind the brothers disappearance in A Dangerous Inheritance. Initially, A Dangerous Inheritance appears to be two books in one: one portraying Kate Plantagenet and another following Katherine Grey. It can be concluded that Weir wanted to write a book on each but The Princes in the Tower are a delicious historical mystery which still mystifies many Anglophiles. Alison Weir’s new angle on the mystery portrays Kate Plantagenet and Katherine Grey attempting to unravel some of the dark secrets behind the brothers’ disappearance in “A Dangerous Inheritance”. Initially, “A Dangerous Inheritance” appears to be two books in one: one portraying Kate Plantagenet and another following Katherine Grey. It can be concluded that Weir wanted to write a book on each but instead of giving in to the inevitable speculation which would have resulted from the lack of sufficient resources; she combined the figures and opted for a historical fiction novel instead. However, I would have rather read a light history book, as the historical events mentioned are generally accurate (albeit with the usual Weir stances/views) and include a sufficient amount of detail and pleasing descriptions (also typical of Weir). The fiction, on the contrary, feels forced with a very juvenile-level dialogue. The characters (especially the main heroines) are very one dimensional and child-like (granted they are children in the story); while the other supporting roles are stereotypical (evil, hunchback Richard!). This prevented me from experiencing any depth and from feeling a connection to the story. I do give Weir credit for attempting to give some limelight to Kate Plantagenet (a bastard child of Richard III); as she is often ignored and sometimes disputed as Richard’s daughter. Furthermore, as the reader realizes the concept behind “A Dangerous Inheritance”; it is recognized how creative it is. Rather than trying to connect Kate and Katherine directly, Weir fashioned a detective story in which Katherine Grey seeks to find conclusions regarding the disappearance behind the Princes in the Tower. Weir alternates between Katherine’s discoveries and the actual events which Kate may have experienced during her own time. Although this is an interesting devising of the story of the Princes; the detective work reads like a YA fiction novel (it is very Nancy Drew: Ghosts! Shadows!). Plus, Weir sticks to her usual opinions versus attempting to work through her characters to look at other leads or viewpoints. There is certainly no new information and neither is “A Dangerous Inheritance” Ricardian friendly. Weir executes the heroines’ investigations accurately in respect to what evidence would have been available to both during their respective time periods. Although Weir may have been tempted by evidence since discovered/debated; the story felt “real” by their absence. The pace throughout “A Dangerous Inheritance” is rather smooth and moves the story along swiftly. Somewhat odd are the “interludes” by Elizabeth I which are an attempt to personalize her actions but felt awkward and too arranged. The “Author’s Note” was the best part of the novel, providing a couple facts I was unaware of. Weir also asserts that this is a fictional work and not meant to be an “authoritative source” (do you hear that, you readers who believe everything?). Although I found “A Dangerous Inheritance” to remind me of “Three Maids for a Crown” by Ella March Chase and even though the novel wasn’t “for me” due to my minimal interest in mysteries; I can see why others would enjoy it. “A Dangerous Inheritance” is not necessarily to be discredited; it just personally wasn’t to my liking this time.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Samantha

    'A Dangerous Inheritance' is a story with definite potential. Unfortunately, Weir uses it as a platform to once again state her case for Richard III as the murderer of the Princes in the Tower. Yes, the case is well made, but she already wrote that book, right? I would have enjoyed this novel much more if she had focused on the main characters of the book, Kate Plantagenet and Katherine Grey. Weir's characterization of Kate Plantagenet, illegitimate daughter of Richard III, is almost complete 'A Dangerous Inheritance' is a story with definite potential. Unfortunately, Weir uses it as a platform to once again state her case for Richard III as the murderer of the Princes in the Tower. Yes, the case is well made, but she already wrote that book, right? I would have enjoyed this novel much more if she had focused on the main characters of the book, Kate Plantagenet and Katherine Grey. Weir's characterization of Kate Plantagenet, illegitimate daughter of Richard III, is almost complete supposition as little is known of her life. Her great faith in her father and wanting to believe the best of him is certainly believable. Her relationship with her cousin John de la Pole was also touching and not too farfetched. The fact that most of her conversations centered on her attempting to discover the truth about the Princes in the Tower just got a little bit boring. I can accept that she would like to clear her father's name or know the truth for her own sake, but too much of this dialogue does nothing but inform the reader without coming across as realistic. The girl was a little obsessed, and I would have rather just learned about her. The same holds true for Katherine Grey, sister to the doomed Jane Grey. For some reason this young woman with her own claim to the throne also becomes consumed with learning the truth about the Princes. Katherine's life story is one that is well documented, tragic, and gripping, so why detract from it with more unlikely dialogue just to keep the focus on the Princes? Katherine is a person that draws sympathy from the reader despite her foolishness and selfishness. She truly was dealt with harshly from a very young age and never given a reprieve. Weir attempts to make a connection between these two young Katherines, who lived approximately 70 years apart, based on their commitment to discovering the truth about the Princes. Other interesting connections are made. Grey is arrested and held in the tower due to her royal blood, much as the Princes were. Both young women are torn from their true love (though historically we do not actually know that of KP). Weir tries to take the connection a step further by inserting paranormal connections between them. KG sees ghosts of KP and feels coldness and despair when trying on her pendant or entering a place where KP experienced trauma. Maybe others weren't bothered by these sections, but I like my historical fiction to be a little more, well...historical. The first 100 pages or so of this novel feels too much like a rehash of things that Weir has already written between her 'Innocent Traitor,' 'Princes in the Tower,' and 'Lady Elizabeth,' and I almost gave up altogether when paranormal activity was added to my frustration over this. In the end, I am glad I persevered. The Katherines' stories are intriguing in their own right and could have been told without having to be overshadowed by the ghosts of little Edward and Richard.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Erin

    This tells the dual storylines of 15th century Kate Haute, illegitimate daughter of Richard III and 16th century Katherine Grey, the younger sister of Lady Jane Grey. I much prefer Sharon Kay Penman and Anne Easter Smith's interpretations of Richard. What I loved was the two girls and how they interpret what is going on around them.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Cynthia Mcarthur

    I regret that this book will be for sale on October 2nd. Why? The Richard III dig. I do not recommend this book to anyone just beginning with Richard. I am a Ricardian, yes. I have read a lot of information both pro-and anti- Richard and have made my judgment that he did not kill the princes. I will not go into everything that I have or haven't read, but I always keep an open mind. And as such, I read Alison Weir's The Princes in the Tower. I am amazed that I did not throw the book into the fire I regret that this book will be for sale on October 2nd. Why? The Richard III dig. I do not recommend this book to anyone just beginning with Richard. I am a Ricardian, yes. I have read a lot of information both pro-and anti- Richard and have made my judgment that he did not kill the princes. I will not go into everything that I have or haven't read, but I always keep an open mind. And as such, I read Alison Weir's The Princes in the Tower. I am amazed that I did not throw the book into the fire when I was finished. That being said, I also kept an open mind when reading this book. I enjoyed Innocent Traitor, so I am prepared to enjoy an author's work, even if we don't see eye to eye on certain points. Ok, I knew going in that she was anti-Richard, and I was prepared for that. However, the story is told from two different perspectives in two different time periods in two different points of view. Katherine Grey, from the bizarre present tense view of past events; and Katherine Plantagenet, Richard's illegitimate daughter, third person point of view. Then, about 70% through the book we have an interlude of Elizabeth I's point of view...it just didn't flow to me. I admire authors who try to do something different with their writing, but this was uninspired and mundane and the interlude just struck me as weird. Alison said in her author's note that she put the interludes there so that the reader would know Elizabeth's point of view, and not see her as a monster. Ok, so why not also have Richard's point of view in an interlude as well? It would have made more sense, and hey, if she still wanted to portray him as an aspiring tyrant, fine. At least the perspectives would have made a little more sense. So, was I impressed? No. Do I regret reading the book? Maybe. Will I ever read another of Weir's novels? Probably not. Now, I will go refresh my soul with the Richard book I recommend to everyone, Sharon Kay Penman's The Sunne in Splendour, one of the best books I have ever read.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Erin

    Find this and other reviews at: https://historicalfictionreader.blogs... Ive had Alison Weirs A Dangerous Inheritance on my kindle since late 2012. A victim of the Tudor flood, I mentally shelved the novel for no other reason than I couldnt fathom taking in another tale set in Henry VIIIs court. Truth be told, Im still hesitant of such titles, but as I am making a serious effort to get through my older books this year, I bit the bullet and jumped in. he obvious question here is how did I fare and Find this and other reviews at: https://historicalfictionreader.blogs... I’ve had Alison Weir’s A Dangerous Inheritance on my kindle since late 2012. A victim of the Tudor flood, I mentally shelved the novel for no other reason than I couldn’t fathom taking in another tale set in Henry VIII’s court. Truth be told, I’m still hesitant of such titles, but as I am making a serious effort to get through my older books this year, I bit the bullet and jumped in. he obvious question here is how did I fare and I’m happy to report I wasn’t disappointed. I read two novels by Weir in 2011 and wasn’t impressed with either, but this story appealed to my tastes and kept my attention beginning to end. The subject matter draws natural comparison to Elizabeth Freemantle’s Sisters of Treason, Karen Harper’s Mistress of Mourning, and Robin Maxwell’s To the Tower Born, but I felt Weir struck fresh ground with Katherine Plantagenet, the little chronicled illegitimate daughter of Richard III. The historical parallel Weir created between the Grey sisters and the Princes in the Tower tickled my imagination and I enjoyed the ideas it fostered. That said, the story felt a little drawn out and I found the dialogue less mature than necessary, and while I’d have no trouble recommending A Dangerous Inheritance to fans of Tudor fiction, I feel it falls on the lighter side of the historical fiction spectrum and would likely direct those with meatier tastes elsewhere.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Allie

    Can't wait...such a huge fan of Alison weir...lady elizabeth, innocent traitor, and captive queen were SO GOOD!!!!!!!!!! Oh my goodness just got it out of the library today it's such a beautiful book I cant wait!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Natasa

    I enjoyed it and I thought it was a good read that covered the last bit of the Plantagenet's and various parts of the Tudor reign. I've always found Alison Weir to be an interesting historical writer, so I appreciated her take on this part of English history.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Lolly's Library

    3.5 stars From the blurb: England's Tower of London was the terrifying last stop for generations of English political prisoners. A Dangerous Inheritance weaves together the lives and fates of four of its youngest and most blameless: Lady Katherine Grey, Lady Jane's younger sister; Kate Plantagenet, an English princess who lived nearly a century before her; and Edward and Richard, the boy princes imprisoned by their ruthless uncle, Richard III, never to be heard from again. Across the years, these 3.5 stars From the blurb: England's Tower of London was the terrifying last stop for generations of English political prisoners. A Dangerous Inheritance weaves together the lives and fates of four of its youngest and most blameless: Lady Katherine Grey, Lady Jane's younger sister; Kate Plantagenet, an English princess who lived nearly a century before her; and Edward and Richard, the boy princes imprisoned by their ruthless uncle, Richard III, never to be heard from again. Across the years, these four young royals shared the same small room in their dark prison, as all four shared the unfortunate role of being perceived as threats to the reigning monarch. First off, I have to say, I'm a bit peeved at this book. According to the blurb, the impression that I got was that the stories were supposed to be told from the viewpoints of Katherine Grey and Katherine Plantagenet (which they were), and the two princes in the tower. Of course, I didn't know how those two princes, Edward and Richard, would be able to tell their story. Through hidden letters perhaps? A secret diary or journal? Who knew, but whatever the case, it would've been a most interesting tale. So, naturally, I was disappointed when I realized the book was only told from the viewpoints of the two women as they worked to solve the disappearance of the two princes. Anyway, to these two women: The first is Katherine Grey, the prettier, more vivacious sister to Lady Jane Grey, the doomed and ill-used Nine Days Queen. Katherine's story is told in the first-person, in her voice, and while her life story is laid out according to historical sources, Weir slips in imagined instances where Katherine discovers information and artifacts linked to the princes in the tower, which creates a fascination in her to try and solve the mystery of their disappearance. The other Katherine in the book is Katherine Plantagenet, the illegitimate daughter of the Duke of Gloucester, future King Richard III. Her story is told in the third-person, and because the princes disappeared during her father's reign, her part in the novel has more urgency to it. In fact, she's quite frantic about solving the mystery because, ever the dutiful daughter, as Richard rises to power and as she's exposed to the stories of his behavior, Katherine refuses to believe that her father could've behaved in such dastardly ways and steadfastly tries to prove all his critics wrong. Though the novel is touted as being one of historical suspense, revolving around the princes in the tower, it didn't feel that way to me. Yes, each Kate tries to solve the mystery in her own way, but that particular "mystery solving" plot device didn't seem to be driving the novel, at least not as much with the Katherine Grey storyline. And with the Katherine Plantagenet storyline, solving the mystery was less about, you know, solving it than it was about a slightly naive daughter trying to clear her father's name. Instead, it was each Kate's life propelling the plot, especially their romantic entanglements, with the only suspense coming when events finally catch up to the girls and they find themselves incarcerated in the Tower of London. Frankly, while I enjoyed the book, I'm not quite sure what the point of it was. After all, Weir has explored the mystery of the princes in the tower in her non-fiction book on the subject (The Princes in the Tower), and if she wanted to explore the lives of the two Kates, she could've written a non-fiction book or books about them as well. I will say this: Weir did a good job of presenting a fair portrait of Richard III. She drew Katherine Plantagenet as basically a mouthpiece for for the Friends of King Richard Society, those dedicated people who believe that everything written about Richard was a lie and he was actually a very good, downright saintly man. As this mouthpiece, Katherine refuses to accept the evidence coming to her of Richard's actions, searching (in vain) to find alternate explanations and trying to reconcile what she knows about her father with what she's hearing about him. The resulting image is what I believe to be the fairest picture of Richard. It's the image of a man who was ruthless, who wanted power, who (yes) had his nephews murdered, but a man who was also devout, a family man, a man who truly grieved when his brother, Edward IV, died. Basically, a man who was no more evil than any other man (and woman) who came to power and did ruthless things on the way or while there, but who was painted as the blackest of villains because it was expedient to do. A man who was not Shakespeare's deformed hunchback, but a man with a slight deformity who became beaten down by his enemies and history. So while Richard's Friends might not like the resulting picture, I think it's one which will satisfy all but the most obdurate on the subject. Speaking of representing an historical personage accurately, Weir portrayed Frances Grey, and to some extent Henry Grey, as the abusive parents they've long become accepted as, a view which has come under fire in the past few years. Some researchers and historians are now saying that that image has been overblown and colored by personal animosity, either on the part of Jane herself or her tutor, Roger Ascham. Weir addresses this issue in her (detailed) author's note; she explains that she questions the theory that there has been a deliberate attempt to blacken Frances' name down the centuries, and that new research suggests that the traditional view of the Suffolks in indeed correct, though "it is conceivable that a chastened Frances mellowed after Jane's execution, as portrayed in this novel, and that Katherine and Mary never suffered the rigor and expectations that their parents imposed on Jane." There has been some discussion over Weir's ability as an historian, with some seeing her as lax or sloppy, or pandering to public popularity, but I think this author's note shows her dedication to her research and to seeking out the best, most logical explanation for disputed issues. In the end, A Dangerous Inheritance was entertaining reading (though the quick back-and-forth between the two Kates got a bit dizzying at times, especially since Kate Plantagenet's interludes were often rather short), but rather pointless, unless you've never heard of or read anything about the two princes in the tower. If that's the case, then you should read this book as it presents an interesting and logical solution to the centuries-old mystery within a fictional framework, making for an easy and well-written read.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Maria Grazia

    "I can never forget the day they brought me the news that my sister's head had been cut off. I was not yet thirteen, too young fully to understand why she had to die, but old enough to imagine the horrific scene at the end. They said she had committed treason, the foulest of all crimes, but it didn't make any sense to me for Jane had only done what she was forced to do. and by that reasoning, I too had been an innocent traitor, just as she was." This is the opening of this incredible novel I've "I can never forget the day they brought me the news that my sister's head had been cut off. I was not yet thirteen, too young fully to understand why she had to die, but old enough to imagine the horrific scene at the end. They said she had committed treason, the foulest of all crimes, but it didn't make any sense to me for Jane had only done what she was forced to do. and by that reasoning, I too had been an innocent traitor, just as she was." This is the opening of this incredible novel I've just finished reading. The young girl in distress for her sister's horrible, unfair death is Katherine Grey, only 13 at the time her sibling was crowned Queen of England for nine days only to be sentenced to death as a traitor soon after by Queen Mary Tudor (1554). After Jane’s death, also the life of Katherine Grey will be full of sorrows and pains in her constant attempt to pursue true love as well as the recognition of her status as heiress to the throne of England. She will have to fight against a fierce and very powerful rival, Queen Elizabeth I, who saw her as a danger to her rule. Lady Katherine Grey’s fate is intertwined with the story of another unlucky young royal child, Kate Plantagenet, Richard III’s illegitimate daughter. Katherine Grey finds her miniature portrait and a diary, and starts feeling sympathy for whom she imagined to be, like her, an unhappy victim of a dangerous inheritance: they both have their destinies signed by their having royal blood running through their veins. The two stories develop onto parallel levels, distant in time, but so close in human suffering. Both girls will have to fight in the pursuit of true love: being of royal blood, a marriage for love is highly improbable for them. They have to marry for state reasons, they have to accept what parents and monarchs choose for them. The two different levels of the narration offer a privileged perspective on historical figures and facts: Kate Plantagenet lived at Richard III’s court after his marriage to Anne Neville, while Katherine Grey is part of the Tudor family, cousin to Edward VI, Mary and Elizabeth and always kept close to the court by all of them in order to check her movements as a possible contender. The two stories merge into a quest for the truth about the tragic fate of the Princes in the Tower, after Richard III’s coronation as king of England. Kate wants to purge her father tainted fame after his death at Bosworth, even risking her own life, and Katherine Grey, imprisoned like the young Princes in the Bell Tower by Elizabeth I, will try to get to the truth thanks to Kate’s diary. Is the mystery solved in the end? You’ll have to check that out yourself reading the book. I’m not revealing any further detail. Love, intrigue, power, cruelty and mystery are the main features of this gripping, remarkable historical picture of two different periods so similar in many aspects: Richard III’s short kingdom and the following Tudor Era. The privileged female point of view on the well-known facts gives them a deeper human touch and makes history turns into a very touching tale. Read the complete review in my post about this book at http://flyhigh-by-learnonline.blogspo...

  12. 4 out of 5

    Susanna - Censored by GoodReads

    Wanted nice Tudor story about Lady Catherine Grey; got "Richard III did a bad, bad thing." Organization was such that just as I got into one story line, the one from the other period started up, and it threw me off completely. Then the ghost stuff showed up, and I abandoned. Very unlikely to ever give this one a second chance.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Simon

    My favorite moment? Katherine Grey describing another character as a "sadist" in 1561. A moment while we all let that sink in. This isn't a novel. Neither of Weir's protagonists undergoes any kind of developmental arc at all. Nor is there an actual plot that connects them, despite contortions that rival a Cirque de Soleil performance. By the third character who showed up to explain things to either Katherine Grey or Kate Plantagenet ("She's a Countess! She's a Bastard! They're Detectives!"), My favorite moment? Katherine Grey describing another character as a "sadist" in 1561. A moment while we all let that sink in. This isn't a novel. Neither of Weir's protagonists undergoes any kind of developmental arc at all. Nor is there an actual plot that connects them, despite contortions that rival a Cirque de Soleil performance. By the third character who showed up to explain things to either Katherine Grey or Kate Plantagenet ("She's a Countess! She's a Bastard! They're Detectives!"), things that never in a million years would have been divulged to either, you know that Weir is simply out to make her point. What point is that? That Richard III killed the Princes in the Tower. I'll wait while someone gets you the smelling salts and you recover. By the end of this incredibly long, tedious, badly written whatever the hell it is, Weir abandons any literary pretensions whatsoever, and spends about 200 pages just piling up the evidence. Katherine Grey, imprisoned in the Tower, starts to function as a daffy Mycroft Holmes, with her warden acting as Watson. He brings her the More history, he digs up witnesses (third-hand witnesses, but witnesses), he talks to her about the case. Katherine is preoccupied with the fate of the Princes because she herself is in the same slammer and --- get this --- at night she hears pitiful voices crying "Help us!!! Save ussssss!!!!!" So she suddenly turns into a Tudor Nancy Drew and sets out to discover the truth. Meanwhile, back in the past, Kate Plantagenet, illegitimate daughter of Richard, is sleuthing herself. Once her incredibly loving and completely unbelievable father Richard goes south to look after his nephew Edward V, his personality changes, and wham, bam, next thing you know he's the King of England and she's watching his marriage to Anne Neville devolve in ways that make no sense whatsoever --- which at least makes it consistent with everything else in this book. So she too sets out to discover what has happened to her "cousins", as she gratingly refers to them. Kate also makes scenic side trips along the way to pitch a little woo with John de la Pole. I am not cutting for spoilers because 1) you not only don't see it coming, you don't care when it does and 2) none of this matters in the slightest. At some point, Weir was probably going for a different kind of story, because Katherine Grey keeps getting mysterious visions of Kate Plantagenet, and at least once Kate spots Katherine Grey skulking in the crowd that hears Buckingham offer Richard the throne. Don't worry about trying to make sense of these moments. Weir never does. So the book comes down to the argument Weir makes that Richard killed his nephews. If you care, you care. But honestly? Watch Dark Shadows. "Night has fallen on Middleham, a dark night that brings dark wails from the dark past. . . "

  14. 5 out of 5

    Diane S ☔

    3.5 As always I enjoyed her writing, it is always very clear and informative. This was a very familiar subject for me but I enjoyed the way she portrayed the characters and their stories. Really enjoyed getting to know more of the two Katherine's life since usually it is the Lady Jane Grey one reads about, not her sister Katherine. Same for Richard III, we usually don't hear much about his daughter. I also liked how she linked these two stories, even though they took place a century apart. Look 3.5 As always I enjoyed her writing, it is always very clear and informative. This was a very familiar subject for me but I enjoyed the way she portrayed the characters and their stories. Really enjoyed getting to know more of the two Katherine's life since usually it is the Lady Jane Grey one reads about, not her sister Katherine. Same for Richard III, we usually don't hear much about his daughter. I also liked how she linked these two stories, even though they took place a century apart. Look forward to seeing which subject she tackles next.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Carole Lehr

    This story is so filled with British history it will make a dyed-in-the-wool Anglophile's head spin! Although I did find this novel to be slow in building momentum, it did start to redeem itself about two-thirds of the way through. I love British history but felt it a bit tedious at times. It was nice when I finally became engrossed with the story(ies). Katherine and Jane Grey are puppets of their parents, Henry Grey and Lady Frances Brandon. They plot and scheme until Jane is placed on the This story is so filled with British history it will make a dyed-in-the-wool Anglophile's head spin! Although I did find this novel to be slow in building momentum, it did start to redeem itself about two-thirds of the way through. I love British history but felt it a bit tedious at times. It was nice when I finally became engrossed with the story(ies). Katherine and Jane Grey are puppets of their parents, Henry Grey and Lady Frances Brandon. They plot and scheme until Jane is placed on the throne, only to be imprisoned for unlawfully accepting the English crown for nine days (hence the term The Nine Days' Queen). Katherine's life story in the sixteenth century is then told and entwined with Kate (Katherine) Plantagenet's life in the fifteenth century. When Katherine Grey finds a portrait of Kate Plantagenet and old letters in a chest, dating back more than seven decades, she becomes intrigued with the writer's quest to find out what happened to the Princes. Her interest follows her for the rest of her life. Katherine Grey ends up in the Tower because of her closeness to the throne. Queen Elizabeth I sees her as a threat and places her in the Tower along with her husband (which the Queen refuses to acknowledge as legitimate) and children. Although she holds them in different areas of the Tower, they manage to see one another by bribing the guards and because of the kindheartedness of one of their jailers. Much of the story tells of both women questioning the disappearance of the Princes in the Tower in the fifteenth century. They each seek to find the truth. One, to clear her father's name in the involvement of the Princes and the other as a mystery to be solved and as a diversion for all she has to endure. During many centuries of British history, people who were even remotely close to the throne lived life on the edge. The King--or Queen--in power had the say over who could marry. These two women dared to live for the love of their lives, even to the point of imprisonment or death. With Kate Plantagenet being the illegitimate daughter of King Richard III, one would think there would be much more historical evidence to aid Ms. Weir in telling her story--even the portions of the book that delve into the disappearance of the royal Princes held in the Tower. She admits there is not sufficient evidence to do justice in telling Kate's story, yet she does a marvelous job of inventing a believable character for the era. Her telling of Katherine Grey's life is followed so closely to documented facts--and expertly told--that I felt like I was there in the Tower of London with her. Overall, I would recommend this book if you are into historical fiction. These two young women endured sad, oppressed existences, yet they stood their ground and were brave right up until the end of their short lives. They may have been rich in wealth by the standards of their day, yet they had no freedom.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Susan Johnson

    This story is about the two young princes locked in the Tower and thought to have been murdered by the evil King Richard. I say thought to have been murdered as no one has been ever conclusively able to prove it. It's this mystery that draws the interest of two different Kates living eighty years apart. One is Katherine Grey, sister of Jane Grey, and one is Katherine Plantagenet, the illegitmate daughter of King Richard. It's the story of these two women looking for answers. It is a dangerous This story is about the two young princes locked in the Tower and thought to have been murdered by the evil King Richard. I say thought to have been murdered as no one has been ever conclusively able to prove it. It's this mystery that draws the interest of two different Kates living eighty years apart. One is Katherine Grey, sister of Jane Grey, and one is Katherine Plantagenet, the illegitmate daughter of King Richard. It's the story of these two women looking for answers. It is a dangerous inheritance to be in line with the throne. The two young princes were imprisoned in the Tower and never seen again because they were the legitmate heirs to the throne. Katherine Grey is in line for the throne and she is imprisoned for having the audacity to marry and have children. How dare she! It didn't seem like any bargain to be that close to the throne. What Alison Weir does brilliantly is to capture the giddiness of those two Kates. It's hard to remember that they were just kids. Katherine Grey was married at 13. Katherine Plantagenet was dead at 17. They were just two young teen-agers and not yet skilled in their treacherous world. Katherine Grey wanted to be Queen. Of course she did. She envisioned a world of pretty gowns and marrying who she wanted. I doubt seriously she wanted to hurt Queen Elizabeth. It's hard to remember that these were just kids and Weir does a great job reminding us of that. I found the story a little cumbersome. I thought the two women each deserved their own book. They were so close to the seat of power. Katherine Grey, in fact, was Queen Elizabeth's heir even if the Queen stubbornly refused to name her. Katherine Plantagent was King Richard's daughter and thought the world of him. As his rule continued and facts emerged of his cruelty, Katherine desperately tried to keep her belief in her father. It wasn't until the death of her stepmother that she started to lose her faith in him. I found it hard to keep relationships straight and had to consult the family tree of the Lancaster/Yorks often trying to keep people straight. Everybody was Edward, Richard and Henry or Katherine, Elizabeth and Anne. I was familiar enough with the Tudors to not have this problem. There just seemed to be too many characters to keep straight. That's the main reason I thought there should have been separate books. The book really comes together the last 100 pages. It becomes very compelling as the story ties up the loose ends. By then I was comfortable with all the characters and the story just flowed. It was an interesting read and overall I enjoyed it.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie Kline

    I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this novel, following two women across almost a hundred years. The last novel I read by Alison Weir left me disappointed, so I wasn't sure what I'd think of this one. The concept of panning back and forth between two women with entirely separate lives and virtually no connection to one another, also made me skeptical. What would the story BE? How would there be any fluidity between the two story lines? I wondered about this at first, but found I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this novel, following two women across almost a hundred years. The last novel I read by Alison Weir left me disappointed, so I wasn't sure what I'd think of this one. The concept of panning back and forth between two women with entirely separate lives and virtually no connection to one another, also made me skeptical. What would the story BE? How would there be any fluidity between the two story lines? I wondered about this at first, but found there was little to worry about. Overall, I enjoyed the way this novel was executed. First, we have young Katherine (Kate) Plantagenet - illegitimate daughter of Richard III and his mistress, Katherine Haute. Hardly anything is known about Kate, aside from her approximate age, her marriage to the Earl of Pembroke, William Herbert. Alison Weir owns the fact that she used a lot of creative license when developing Kate's story, which I think is perfectly respectable. Overall, I liked reading about Richard III's daughter (seeing a softer side to him, too), and getting to "know" a historical figure I know very little about. This story line takes place between about 1482 and 1487. Then we also have Katherine Grey, sister of the ill-fated nine-days Queen of England, Lady Jane Grey. Katherine lived much later than our earlier Kate (yes, it is a bit confusing that they both have the same name) - her story line is focused more on the latter half of the 1500s - with the unexpected ascension of her sister to the throne, throughout about half of Queen Elizabeth I's reign. Katherine, too, is a relatively little-known historical figure. Tragic and doomed to be unhappy because 1) her royal bloodline that made her a threat, and 2) her somewhat foolish heart that got her into trouble, Katherine's story certainly isn't a happy one. But, as we know more about her life and all that she endured, it was a very interesting read. As one can imagine, these two women in real life had nothing to do with one another. In all likelihood, Katherine Grey probably never even KNEW about Katherine Plantagenet - and certainly wouldn't have given her a second thought. She was of no importance to Grey's life. But Weir wove an interesting story here, involving both girls and their trials (both being linked to "usurpers", and thus punished for it). She also created a story where both girls, in their own time periods, seek to learn the truth about the true fate of the tragic Princes in the Tower - Richard III's young nephews (one being the rightful child king of England) - who many believed at the time had been put to death by Richard's order. Kate Plantagenet obviously wants to know the truth, just KNOWING her father can't be responsible. Kate Grey is curious because of her own time spent in the tower, and the haunting child voices she hears there. I liked the way these girls were linked by this mystery. While at times it did feel as if Alison Weir was trying to write a non-fiction book WITHIN a fiction novel (lots of explaining history, theories, and likelihoods - all inserted as conversations between characters), it still worked. Alison is a much more natural non-fiction writer (I love all of her history books), and non-fiction doesn't seem quite as easy for her. Still, this was much better than the last of her novels that I read, so in the end, I'm impressed. Not a fun or light story by any means, as it leaves with rather a depressing tone. But I enjoyed the history, theories, and characterizations in this novel! Glad I read it.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Olga Hughes

    The story begins before Jane Grey takes the throne, so there is a short rehash of the fall of Jane Grey through Katherine Greys eyes while Weir is introducing us to Kate Plantagenet. Richard III did indeed have two illegitimate children, Kate and John of Gloucester, along with his heir Edward. There is next to no information on Kate save that Richard arranged a good marriage for her, no birth date, death date or record of surviving children. With this in mind Weir has free reign with the The story begins before Jane Grey takes the throne, so there is a short rehash of the fall of Jane Grey through Katherine Grey’s eyes while Weir is introducing us to “Kate” Plantagenet. Richard III did indeed have two illegitimate children, Kate and John of Gloucester, along with his heir Edward. There is next to no information on Kate save that Richard arranged a good marriage for her, no birth date, death date or record of surviving children. With this in mind Weir has free reign with the character, and she chooses to place her (along with her half-brothers) in the household of Richard III and Anne Neville. There is nothing that stands out about Kate at first, Kate leads a seemingly pleasant life with a loving father and kind stepmother, she falls in love but of course her father is arranging a good marriage for her with an older man, all fairly standard story-telling. When Richard III takes the throne from his nephew, Kate’s unease begins to grow. When rumours start spreading about the Princes in the Tower, Kate takes it upon herself to start investigating the matter, and when her father is overthrown, killed and named an usurper, Kate is left alone with an unloving husband and becomes obsessed with clearing her father’s name. Meanwhile Katherine Grey begins her young married life in a heady dream, married to handsome young Henry Herbert. Unfortunately for Katherine the young couple are forbidden to consummate their marriage. On one of their explorations around Baynard’s Castle Katherine discovers a casket containing letters and a portrait, of Katherine Plantagenet, and the connection between the two girls is forged. Katherine Grey becomes intrigued with Kate and starts dreaming about her. Later, after her disastrous second marriage, while imprisoned in the Tower she uses Kate’s documents to try and solve the mystery of The Princes in the Tower. The problem with Katherine Grey is that she is an inherently unlikeable character. Looking at her factually, she disobeyed her Queen and cousin by marrying without permission, couldn’t prove that the marriage had taken place, became pregnant and gave birth while imprisoned in the Tower and may possibly have conspired with, or perhaps just been courted by the Spanish, against Elizabeth. Weir does nothing to alleviate this and make me sympathise with her. I am also not sure she was trying to. She mostly comes off as spoiled, self-obsessed and irresponsible. While Kate Plantagenet isn’t the selfish immature girl Katherine is made out to be, both girls are young, both of them obsessed with their lovers and being in love. The language of both girls can get a little flowery sometimes, and while Weir is telling a love story (or two), I found both girls a little irritating. There was also not enough disparity between the two characters. I understand the idea was to draw parallels between the two girls and their lives but I really needed more conflict. I also really wanted to see the supernatural theme pushed more. It is introduced, then cast aside for a while, and then brought back when Kate is in the Tower. Weir fans will know of her stance on Richard III, and Frances Brandon is again maligned in this book. I understand, but do not agree with, Weir’s opinion of Frances. But the scene with Jane being literally covered in bruises while Katherine is helping her get dressed is too much, and I really think Weir goes far too far with it to continue to be believable. It is depicting real, malicious and violent abuse which I think is a far cry from “nips and bobs”. This really diminished my enjoyment of this book. The combination of love story, mystery and tragedy along with the usual court intrigue should please Weir’s historical fiction fans admirably. Originally published at Crickhollow Books

  19. 5 out of 5

    Colleen Turner

    I reviewed this book for www.luxuryreading.com. 1553: King Edward VI has died and the battle for the throne of England begins. Katharine Grey and her sisters are thrust into the center of plotting as their royal blood makes them valuable pawns. When Katharine's cousin Queen Elizabeth comes to the throne the pressure continues to mount as Elizabeth sees her as a threat to her insecure claims. When Katharine marries for love without first seeking the Queens permission-something that poses a further I reviewed this book for www.luxuryreading.com. 1553: King Edward VI has died and the battle for the throne of England begins. Katharine Grey and her sisters are thrust into the center of plotting as their royal blood makes them valuable pawns. When Katharine's cousin Queen Elizabeth comes to the throne the pressure continues to mount as Elizabeth sees her as a threat to her insecure claims. When Katharine marries for love without first seeking the Queen’s permission-something that poses a further threat to Elizabeth if the marriage produces a son – she quickly learns just how vicious a frightened Elizabeth can be. 1483: Kate Plantagenet enjoys a comfortable, privileged life in the country as the bastard daughter of Richard, Duke of Gloucester. This secluded life comes to an abrupt halt, however, when her father’s brother, King Edward IV, dies and the King’s underage son, Edward V, is to become King. Kate’s father rushes to serve as the young King’s Lord Protector but tongues start wagging when Richard continues to make dubious, sometimes violent choices to keep himself in power, including locking the young King and his brother and heir in the Tower of London. Kate cannot make sense of this loving father she has always known being the monster that so many believe he is and she determines to seek the truth to make sense of this life she has been born into. But how will she ever find the truth when the very base of court life is built on a fragile web of lies? Weaving back and forth between the two story lines, the two women’s circumstances are eerily similar. Both find true love in men they cannot have and both will do anything to try and hold on to that love for as long as possible. Both find that having royal blood in your veins means a life on the knife’s edge of privilege and destruction. And both will ultimately find that, while they might not have control over the outcome of their lives, their actions and decisions are their own if they are willing to accept the consequences of those actions. A hefty tome of over 500 pages, A Dangerous Inheritance is a must read for any lover of English historical fiction. It is hard not to become entirely engrossed in the lives of these two women and the great injustices done to them simply because they are women of noble blood. While it could be difficult to keep track of the vast number of people and the various ways they mixed together, the handy family trees at the beginning of the book did much to assist with this. The authors notes at the end were also very helpful as they explained where Ms. Weir stuck to history and were she ventured into fiction to advance the story line and to fill in the holes now lost to history (such as much of the Kate story line). A Dangerous Inheritance is my favorite kind of historical fiction: knowledgeable writer, great plot lines and a little mystery thrown in to keep me turning the pages. I have long been a fan of Alison Weir and this book does much to solidify not only that admiration but my continued passion for history.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Elena

    This is the first Alison Weir book I read, and wow, I really liked it! It has two heroines, and two different storylines: the first is Katherine Grey, who lived during the Tudors reign, and the second is Katherine Plantagenet, who lived nearly a century before her, at the time of Richard III and Henry VII. It's very clear that Weir is used to write history books, because there really is a lot of english history in here, but Weir does not overdo it, and manages to keep the narration light and This is the first Alison Weir book I read, and wow, I really liked it! It has two heroines, and two different storylines: the first is Katherine Grey, who lived during the Tudors reign, and the second is Katherine Plantagenet, who lived nearly a century before her, at the time of Richard III and Henry VII. It's very clear that Weir is used to write history books, because there really is a lot of english history in here, but Weir does not overdo it, and manages to keep the narration light and easy to follow. I loved how she kept true to the real facts, in the case of Katherine Grey, and used the few facts known to create a believable interpretation, in the case of Kate Plantagenet. She was very skilled in connecting the two heroines, not only by the main mystery of the book, which they both tried to solve, but also by similar events happening to them. And, at the same time, she managed to render them as two different characters. Truth be told, the characterization of the two heroines is not the best I have ever read: I personally found difficult to relate to Katherine Grey because of her enormous naivety, which I found excusable when she was young, but not so much when she was older. However, I liked how she subtly changed through the years: you could really see the difference from when she was thirteen years old and when she was a mature woman. I liked Kate Plantagenet more, especially her pure heart, her devotion to her father, but at the same time the need to find justice and to know the truth about the Princes. As for the other characters, there were some characterizations I appreciated more than others: Katherine's and Kate's lovers were all the same to me, I really could not find many differences; but I liked how Elizabeth I and Richard III were portrayed, even if they appeared little. The main thing I liked about the book, however, was the great mystery: I am very fond of mystery books, as well as of english history, and so of course I was thrilled to read about the Princes in the Tower, also because I knew very little about them. I think Weir did a good job keeping the mystery alive for the whole book, and she did it well enough that, even when the narration pace was slower, you still wanted to read on to get to the truth. Of course, even today there is not a final truth about this mystery, but I think Weir did well with what she had. One last thing: thumbs up for the great cover! It is simple, but is perfect for the story: a woman who could be both Katherine and Kate (but I think it's the first), holding Kate's papers and her pendant. Very nice indeed.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Christina (Confessions of a Book Addict)

    A Dangerous Inheritance pieces together the story of both Lady Katherine Grey and Kate Plantagenet. What is most peculiar about this connection is that the two girls lived almost a century apart. Lady Katherine Grey is Lady Jane Grey's (you might know her from Weir's Innocent Traitor, a.k.a the Nine Days' Queen) younger sister. Like many young women of her time, she is her family's chess piece in the much larger game to get to the throne. Her cousin, Queen Elizabeth I, views her as threat and A Dangerous Inheritance pieces together the story of both Lady Katherine Grey and Kate Plantagenet. What is most peculiar about this connection is that the two girls lived almost a century apart. Lady Katherine Grey is Lady Jane Grey's (you might know her from Weir's Innocent Traitor, a.k.a the Nine Days' Queen) younger sister. Like many young women of her time, she is her family's chess piece in the much larger game to get to the throne. Her cousin, Queen Elizabeth I, views her as threat and when Lady Katherine upsets the Queen, she finds herself inside the Tower of London. Kate Plantagenet, daughter of Richard III, has to deal with horrible rumors about her father on a daily basis. Need I say more? And like Katherine, she falls in love with someone who is forbidden to her. Both girls also show a deep interest in the fate of the Princes in the Tower; they are on a quest for some answers. Alison Weir's latest historical read, A Dangerous Inheritance, is filled with entertaining historical details, court intrigue, lust, and of course, the sad realities of life for many women close to the throne. I must admit that I preferred Lady Katherine's story to Kate's and was immediately enthralled with her storyline. I couldn't believe the horrible things that Lady Katherine had to go through, namely, the death of her sister and father as well as her unfair imprisonment. I can recognize that Lady Katherine is extremely impulsive and I understood politically why Queen Elizabeth would view her as a threat, but ultimately, my empathy lied with Lady Katherine. Kate Plantagent's story was also interesting and as the story progressed, I realized that these two girls had more in common then I initially thought. As Weir weaved her story's web, I had an a-ha moment. I was pretty confused as to how the Princes in the Tower's story related to Lady Katherine and Kate's but trust in Weir; it will all make sense. Although I liked how Weir interlaced the two girls' stories with the Princes, I felt it was lengthy and drawn out at times. A Dangerous Inheritance alternated between Lady Katherine's point of view and Kate's, which at times was tough and really drawn out. On the other hand, I needed to know what happened to the girls and this format prolonged my suspense. Also, be forewarned that A Dangerous Inheritance is 500+ pages, which no doubt makes for a historically dense read. If you are a fan of Weir and historical fiction, you can't go wrong with A Dangerous Inheritance. However, I prefer some of Weir's other fictional reads over this one, such as Innocent Traitor.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Brian

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I never thought the day would come when I would give four stars to an Alison Weir book - probably it should be three and a half, but anyway... The positives - this book reminded me that Ms Weir is a much better *writer* than Philippa Gregory. PG's books generally hit the wall within a maximum of three chapters. This was thoroughly readable. I have always suspected that a very good writer of *fiction* was inside AW trying to get out - this book tends to support that theory. The book is about two I never thought the day would come when I would give four stars to an Alison Weir book - probably it should be three and a half, but anyway... The positives - this book reminded me that Ms Weir is a much better *writer* than Philippa Gregory. PG's books generally hit the wall within a maximum of three chapters. This was thoroughly readable. I have always suspected that a very good writer of *fiction* was inside AW trying to get out - this book tends to support that theory. The book is about two Katherines in different times - Katherine Plantagenet (Richard III's daughter) and Katherine Grey (Elizabeth I's cousin) living (obviously) in different times and both (in their own way) trying to solve The Mystery of the Princes. The other thing in common is that they both have dreadful real world lives. There's a bit of spooky stuff connecting them, but thankfully no witchcraft. Anyone who has read Weir's 'factual' book about the Princes will not be surprised by the ultimate conclusion. Sadly, I think AW is one of those people who has swallowed More whole and believes his work is accurate and not - as in fact it is - one which contains at least half a dozen *demonstrable* falsehoods. (I gave up after counting six.) Other myths repeated here: The oft-repeated idea that Edward V had a bad disease of the jaw bone. There is no evidence for this at all, other than the condition of one of the skeletons claimed to be the Princes - the identity of the skeletons is, to put it mildly, a subject of debate. Secondly, the oft-repeated theory that Richard was planning to marry Elizabeth of York. Sorry, but just because it's in Croyland doesn't make it true. There were arrangements in hand for Richard to marry a Portuguese princess and Elizabeth to marry a Portuguese prince. This has been known for years but somehow-it-just-does-not get-through. Thirdly the belief Croyland was Bishop Russell. This idea has been exploded. As Croyland apparently didn't know about the Portugal marriages he was clearly not as well informed as some people like to make out. Anyway, as a work of fiction not bad at all. I suppose I did find the constant switching between the periods a bit irritating, but that's me. And, as so often, I found myself wondering how Sir William Cecil was able to do his job for so many years without being taken away by the men in white coats. Elizabeth I as an employer would have driven me nuts - or rather, nuttier.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Amelia

    A Dangerous Inheritance is a turgid novel that awkwardly attempts to merge two shorter stories into one over long book; it would've been better to separate them. I can understand that, at least for Katherine Plantagenet, source material may have been too rare to justify her own book, but honestly - who expects historical fiction to be 100% true with no supposition? Authors flesh out the characters' lives, bringing biography to life. I appreciate Weir's research, and it was nice to read about A Dangerous Inheritance is a turgid novel that awkwardly attempts to merge two shorter stories into one over long book; it would've been better to separate them. I can understand that, at least for Katherine Plantagenet, source material may have been too rare to justify her own book, but honestly - who expects historical fiction to be 100% true with no supposition? Authors flesh out the characters' lives, bringing biography to life. I appreciate Weir's research, and it was nice to read about just how accurate her writing is, but I'd like a more rounded approach. A bit more personality development (and no, a twelve year old madly in lust does not count as personality development.) I really dislike the use of magic or supernatural elements in historical fiction. It's dissonant, an author selling us a story as true, while flagrantly adding parts that so clearly are not. There was really no need to link the two protagonists by a sort of ghostly trace of emotions and foreboding (or a disembodied hand). The portrait, letters and necklace and simple events were quite enough. Nor was there any need to have the spirits of the two princes waiting for their story to be unravelled. I'm disappointed because I was rather excited to read Dangerous Inheritance. I love historical fiction, particularly in this period. I've read a fair bit of it so it's exciting to get to know some characters that I haven't read much of before. I enjoyed the read, but it could've been so much better.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Marcia

    Outward appearances are not always what they seem, especially among great folk In this riveting tale that parallels the lives of Lady Katherine Grey, the younger sister of Lady Jane Grey, the Queen who ruled for nine days before being assassinated and Kate Plantagenet, the illegitimate daughter of Richard III, Weir provides an intriguing and insightful look into the lives and loves of the ever scandalous British Monarchy. Though the two woman are set apart in time, Weir has managed to bridge the “Outward appearances are not always what they seem, especially among great folk” In this riveting tale that parallels the lives of Lady Katherine Grey, the younger sister of Lady Jane Grey, the Queen who ruled for nine days before being assassinated and Kate Plantagenet, the illegitimate daughter of Richard III, Weir provides an intriguing and insightful look into the lives and loves of the ever scandalous British Monarchy. Though the two woman are set apart in time, Weir has managed to bridge the gap in an attempt to solve what is arguably the most infamous murder mystery of all time, that of the princes in the tower. This is a thought provoking book on all accounts, and well worth the time it took to read. It is by no means an easy read largely due to the enormity of the subject matter and the depth in each character portrayal. Weir’s knowledge of this prolific era shines through in her depiction of the goings on of the times as well as her attention to detail. I enjoyed the vividness of the story and was immediately drawn into this tale rife with danger and suspense. A well written and thoroughly thought out novel, the similarity in names may become slightly confusing however as this is based on factual characters, Weir has done well to distinguish between the two era’s while maintaining the seamless weaving together of the two characters and their lives. Although the book is rather melancholic in nature I felt this “realism” made the experiences of the characters more fascinating and I couldn’t wait to reach the final chapter. An extremely scintillating tale that will tug at your heartstrings as you will both characters to gain the closure they both so desperately desire and more than anything deserve.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Charleen

    Unfortunately, I haven't really enjoyed an Alison Weir novel since the first one I read, Innocent Traitor. I don't mind dual storylines, but these got jumbled in my mind, and I had a hard time keeping the two Katherines and their various relationships straight. (If I hadn't already read several historical novels about the Tudors and Plantagenets, I imagine I would have been utterly confused.) It was entertaining enough to keep me reading, but I'd hoped for a more satisfying conclusion tying the Unfortunately, I haven't really enjoyed an Alison Weir novel since the first one I read, Innocent Traitor. I don't mind dual storylines, but these got jumbled in my mind, and I had a hard time keeping the two Katherines and their various relationships straight. (If I hadn't already read several historical novels about the Tudors and Plantagenets, I imagine I would have been utterly confused.) It was entertaining enough to keep me reading, but I'd hoped for a more satisfying conclusion tying the two stories together.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Victoria

    The novel follows two young women Katherine Grey the sister of infamous Lady Jane Grey the Nine Days Queen and Katherine Plantagenet the illegitimate daughter of King Richard III. Almost a century apart between, their life stories have many similarities. They both fight for the right to marry the men they love and to reveal the truth about their loved ones. While Katherine Grey struggles to untangle the knot of court intrigues that led her dear sister to the scaffold, Kate Plantagenet tries to The novel follows two young women Katherine Grey the sister of infamous Lady Jane Grey the Nine Days Queen and Katherine Plantagenet the illegitimate daughter of King Richard III. Almost a century apart between, their life stories have many similarities. They both fight for the right to marry the men they love and to reveal the truth about their loved ones. While Katherine Grey struggles to untangle the knot of court intrigues that led her dear sister to the scaffold, Kate Plantagenet tries to clear her father’s name and prove that he didn’t order to kill the young princes in the Tower. They both felt alone against the world, the outsiders, and struggle to stand up for their beliefs in those difficult times. Katherine Grey finds herself standing up against the most powerful woman in England, Queen Elizabeth I, who does everything to make Katherine’s life miserable. Kate Plantagenet has to stand up against the whole country that believes that her father Richard is a usurper and a murderer. Although I enjoyed this novel most of the time, I felt I was reading back and forward two different books. I don’t think it was necessary to combine the two stories in one thick book. The two plotlines somehow connect through the mysterious magical visions that both Katherine’s have about each other. Separated by more than a century they feel each other’s presence. I honestly thought it was unnecessary detail, didn’t add much to the story except the fact that Katherine Grey researched Kate’s story. In addition, you can clearly see the authors view on King Richard’s story. I personally don’t think he murdered the princes and I was grinding my teeth when the author was telling us how horrible he was. Ouch… Overall, I enjoyed the novel, mostly Kate’s part because I never read anything about her and the story really captivated me. I really liked her as a character, while Katherine Grey was portrayed as a bit spoiled and childish. After witnessing everything that happened to her sister Jane, I’m surprised she didn’t make any conclusions. I think a sensible person would try to stay as far possible from all the court intrigues. That part made a little sense to me. Although you can notice a lot of character development of both protagonists. I really like Alison Weir’s writing, very lively, bright and emotional. All the historical figures feel realistic and you immediately want to do your own research and to see what was real and what the author’s imagination was. I would definitely be reading more books by Alison Weir.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Becky

    5 stars. I quite enjoyed this book! Ms Weir's take on a relatively unknown character, Katherine Plantagenet, was a clearly way to explore how close family might have reacted to everything that happened during Richard III's short, tumultuous reign. Even though it's complete fiction, I liked how she told the well-known tale with new life through Kate, of whom we know very little. Mix Kate's story with that of Katherine Grey, Lady Jane's sister, and suddenly you've got an enthralling dual 5 stars. I quite enjoyed this book! Ms Weir's take on a relatively unknown character, Katherine Plantagenet, was a clearly way to explore how close family might have reacted to everything that happened during Richard III's short, tumultuous reign. Even though it's complete fiction, I liked how she told the well-known tale with new life through Kate, of whom we know very little. Mix Kate's story with that of Katherine Grey, Lady Jane's sister, and suddenly you've got an enthralling dual perspective story. Though a lot more is known about Katherine, I found her story equally compelling. Granted, hers was a bit more frustrating because she never made smart decisions, which made me want to shake her. Between the two lies the central mystery of the princes in the Tower. We may never know what exactly happened to those boys and there are many theories, both pro- and anti- Richard, that seek to find the truth. But how would a daughter deal with this? How would someone during the Tudor dynasty react to this mystery? Granted, as the author stated in the afterward, there's no proof that either Kate or Katherine ever had anything to say about the mystery ... but what if they had?

  28. 4 out of 5

    Vanessa

    DNF after 221 pages. It's not that this book was unbearably bad. Some of what I read was actually good, but it just couldn't hold my interest. I had to *make* myself keep reading, and that is never a good sign. Additionally, I was constantly confused because this book tells two stories parallel to each other --- one is about Kate Plantagenet, daughter of Richard III., in the 15th century; the other is about Katherine Grey, sister of Jane Grey, in the 16th century (both stories are told in the DNF after 221 pages. It's not that this book was unbearably bad. Some of what I read was actually good, but it just couldn't hold my interest. I had to *make* myself keep reading, and that is never a good sign. Additionally, I was constantly confused because this book tells two stories parallel to each other --- one is about Kate Plantagenet, daughter of Richard III., in the 15th century; the other is about Katherine Grey, sister of Jane Grey, in the 16th century (both stories are told in the third person). Both girls are 12/13, and both stories are about times of political upheaval. There are a lot of similarities, and I often found myself thinking "Wait, which story am I in again right now?" simply because it sometimes kept switching back and forth between both of them so quickly, and I kept getting confused with the details and many of the secondary characters. I do like reading books that follow two different stories in two different time periods which are somehow connected, but those time periods should be further apart than just 80 years, and the stories should not be so similar to each other. Cause again, really confusing!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Lauren

    That was a very nice read. I think it maybe the quickest that I've read a book this whole year so far. The only reason that I gave it a 4 star, was because of my confusion at the beginning. There was swapping between two characters with very similar names. It took me a few chapters to get through to an understanding of what was happening. Once I understood, it became easier to read. This was my first Alison Weir book and I will definitely checking out her others! Thank you to Goodreads for the That was a very nice read. I think it maybe the quickest that I've read a book this whole year so far. The only reason that I gave it a 4 star, was because of my confusion at the beginning. There was swapping between two characters with very similar names. It took me a few chapters to get through to an understanding of what was happening. Once I understood, it became easier to read. This was my first Alison Weir book and I will definitely checking out her others! Thank you to Goodreads for the suggestion.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Colleen Watson

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I really wanted to like this book it's such a great time period. But alas it's just an weird way to get to The Princes in the Tower theory :(

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