Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Review: A Dangerous Inheritance by Alison Weir

Publisher: Doubleday Canada
Pages: 544
Received: Received from Random House of Canada in exchange for an honest review

Release Date: October 2, 2012
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Goodreads Synopsis:

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 rooms in their dark prison, as all four shared the unfortunate role of being perceived as threats to the reigning monarch.

My Review:

When I saw this book I was overwhelmed, it was huge, coming in over 500 pages and I was nervous about how long it would take me to get through it. I was quite surprised at the story, that I actually found myself continually wanting to pick this book up after putting it down. I really wanted to know what the characters would do next.

Weir takes an interesting tactic with her writing, going back and forth between the two Katherines and really bringing them together. I loved how these two different stories were so similar in many ways. I really enjoyed going back and forth between the two different time periods to see the differences but how many things were similar as well. The story of these two girls with such different lives was interesting, each with their own ties to the throne, and both ending up as threats in different ways.

I did have a few issues when reading this story, the main one being that at certain parts the story becomes dry and very slow going. I understand that not everything in history is entertaining, but I felt like so much was described in the story that was not absolutely necessary, making the novel longer than need be. I also found that there were a few times in the book that the section cut off a little too quickly. I ended up enjoying the length of the book because I found that I was able to watch each of the characters' grow and change and it really gave me more time with each of them.

Weir describes every detail of each of the Katherines' lives giving readers an understanding of their thoughts and feelings. She really puts her readers in the characters' shoes so that they can get a deep understanding. Kate and Katherine each have a unique voice so that it is easy to tell who you are with at certain times.

The story was intriguing and I really enjoyed the mystery behind it, each girl trying to find out the fate of the two boy princes locked up in the tower. Each of the girls has a tactic but are told different stories behind the imprisonment of these two young boys. If you enjoy historical fiction books, this is definitely the book for you. Through her writing you can tell Weir did a lot of research for this book, with the extensive details given, she does write a lengthy author's note explaining some of the liberties she took with the story but noting that everything that she writes about did happen and is documented.


  1. It took me a bit to get use to the Kate and Katherine style and not get them confused but once I did I couldn't put the book down!

    charmaine of Janitorial Services Dallas

  2. Alison weir has once again written a novel that makes you feel like you stepped back in time. She beautifully blends history with her own imagination and weaves a rich tapestry between two historical figures that are often overlooked. I would 100% recommend this book to friends. I give it 5 stars. Another triumph for Weir and for the reader!

    charmaine of Janitorial Services Dallas



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