Susan Johnson's Reviews > A Dangerous Inheritance: A Novel of Tudor Rivals and the Secret of the Tower

A Dangerous Inheritance by Alison Weir
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's review
Aug 28, 2012

really liked it
Read in August, 2012

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.
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