Two women separated by time are linked by the most famous murder mystery in history, the Princes in the Tower.
Lady Katherine Grey has already suffered more than her fair share of tragedy.
Newly pregnant, she has incurred the wrath of her formidable cousin, Queen Elizabeth I, who sees her as a rival to her insecure throne.
Alone in her chamber in the Tower, she finds old papers belonging to a kinswoman of hers, Kate Plantagenet, who forty years previously had embarked on a dangerous quest to find what really happened to her cousins, the two young Princes who had last been seen as captives in the Tower.
But time is not on Kate's side - nor on Katherine's either...
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 528 pages
- Publisher: Cornerstone
- Publication Date: 18/07/2013
- Category: Historical fiction
- ISBN: 9780099534594
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Review by PhilSyphe
“A Dangerous Inheritance” covers two periods of English history that are at times linked together. One narrative, covering the period of 1483-87, focuses on Richard III’s baseborn daughter, Katherine Plantagenet, referred to as Kate. The other narrative, covering the period of 1553-1568, is told by Katherine Grey, whose sister Jane is known as “The nine-day queen”, though she never had chance to rule, nor was she officially a queen at all, for that role was undertaken by (Bloody) Mary Tudor. Jane and Katherine Grey’s mother was daughter of Henry VIII’s sister, thus the famous Tudor king’s blood flowed through the young sisters’ veins. Alison Weir does a great job of swapping between these narratives, of which Kate’s is written in third person past tense, while Katherine’s is in first person present tense. Both heroines walk the fine line between royal greatness and eternal disgrace. Each girl let’s their heart rule their head and this proves to be their undoing. The inheritance of regal blood is indeed a danger. To quote from narrative: “Tangling with princes rarely brought anyone anything but ill-fortune and grief.”One would have to possess a hard heart not to sympathise with these two heroines, both of whom I took a shine to, especially King Richard’s loyal daughter.Although I’m quite familiar with aspects of English history during the times covered in this novel, I knew little of Kate Plantagenet's life and wasn’t even aware of Katherine Grey’s existence. Thus I found these stories – despite (and because of) the obvious fictional passages the author used to fill in the gaps – most interesting.The princes in the tower make an interesting subplot. Kate believes that her father had nothing to do with her cousins’ deaths – assuming they *were* killed and not taken somewhere safe – and she writes down her theories, which Katherine discovers years later and becomes fascinated by the tragedy. She in turn wants to discover the truth. I believe that a good book should be engaging throughout, while a great one should be continually engrossing – this novel fits the latter category for me.