Wednesday, October 31, 2012

A Dangerous Inheritance by Alison Weir


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 story flashes back to 1483 and another Catherine - Kate Plantaganet, bastard daughter of Richard III. She has heard terrible rumours of the death of the young deposed Edward V and his brother (the Princes in the Tower) but loyalty to her father prevents her believing them. After his death at Bosworth, she is viewed with suspicion by Henry VII's court, even more so when she becomes pregnant.

Catherine, too, is pregnant, a friendly warder having sneaked Edward into her room. She finds documents relating to Kate's life and gets swept up both in Kate's story and the mystery of the Princes, which she realises Kate never solved...

A Dangerous Inheritance is the story of two women who lived more than a century apart: Lady Catherine Grey in the 16th century and Lady Catherine Plantaganet in the 15th century; both known as “Kate”. The two women are connected in the story by their fascination with the mystery of the Princes in the Tower, both obsessed with learning the truth about what happened to them.

Beautifully written, I found the story of these two women highly compelling. Each woman’s story had plenty to keep readers enthralled with executions, court intrigues, dark secrets, and true love. They each suffered in their own way. It is evident that author Alison Weir did an incredible amount of research into the history behind the two young princes locked away and who ultimately disappeared from the Tower of London – a mystery that continues to this day. Even though it took a while to understand the link between these to women, all is revealed in a highly satisfying ending. 

The novel is rather long, but this is understandable considering this novel covers the lives of two women. The historical details are also well portrayed in this vividly told story. Part drama, part mystery, part suspense, this story has something for everyone. I enjoyed every page of this excellently written novel and I’m sure you will too.