Sunday, November 11, 2012

Review: A Dangerous Inheritance by Alison Weir


Description (from cover):
'In this engrossing novel of historical suspense, New York Times bestselling author Alison Weir tells the dramatic intertwined stories of two women--Katherine Grey and Kate Plantagenet--separated by time but linked by twin destinies...involving the mysterious tragic fate of the young Princes in the Tower.
When her older sister, Lady Jane Grey, the Nine Day's Queen, is executed in 1554 for unlawfully accepting the English crown, Lady Katherine Grey's world falls apart. Barely recovered from this tragic loss she risks all for love, only to incur the wrath of her formidable cousin Queen Elizabeth I, who sees Katherine as a rival for her insecure throne.
Interlaced with Katherine's story is that of her distant kinswoman Kate Plantagenet, the bastard daughter of Richard III, the last Plantagenet king. In 1483, Kate travels to London for Richard's coronation, and her world changes forever.
Kate loves her father, but before long she hears the terrible rumors about him that threaten all she holds dear. Like Katherine Grey, she falls in love with a man who is forbidden to her. Then Kate embarks on what will become a perilous quest, covertly seeking the truth about what befell her cousins the Princes in the Tower, who may have been victims of Richard III's lust for power. But time is not on Kate's side, or on Katherine's.
Katherine finds herself prisoner in the Tower of London, the sinister fortress that overshadowed the lives of so many royal figures, including the boy princes. Will Elizabeth demand the full penalty for treason? And what secrets will Katherine find hidden within the Tower walls?
Alison Weir's new novel is a page-turning story set within a framework of fascinating historical authenticity. In this rich and layered tapestry, Katherine and Kate discover that possessing royal blood can prove to be a dangerous inheritance.'

My thoughts:

          For some reason, I have a bad habit of reading other reader's reviews before starting a book. I don't do this just rarely, but for every single book that I read. So of course I did it for this one. The reviews on this book were off-putting. They said it wasn't an engaging story and that it definitely wasn't Weir's best work. Why do I do this? It's so weird. I was expecting to not like this story based on reading the reviews, but guess what, I loved this one! So moral of the story here is not to judge a book based on other people's reviews, as what works for them may not work for you and vice versa. Note to self: remember this statement when reading reviews before reading the book.

         To be honest, I am so glad this book doesn't feature the Tudors. They make a small appearance, but mainly the story is focused on Katherine Grey, Kate Plantagenet, Richard III and the Princes in the Tower. And thank God! I am about sick of the Tudors (sorry, but true). It's refreshing to read about some lesser known historical figures. I knew that Katherine was the sister of the doomed Lady Jane Grey and that's all I knew about her. As for Kate Plantagenet, I didn't even know she existed or had such an interesting tale. Thank you, Alison Weir, for introducing me to these two fabulous historical women. 

         These two women draw you into their stories and don't let go. I found myself really caring for these two characters and hoping that all turns out well for them. The thing that I like the best about Katherine and Kate is that they both do some things for love and yet still hold true to who they are despite facing treason charges and losing everything they hold dear. I love how Alison Weir invites the reader into a world where literally everything was on edge with Richard III fighting for his crown and kingdom and the mystery surrounding the missing Princes of the Tower. You really get the sense and feel of the time in this book and the author is one who is known for sticking closely to historical fact. I really like that. I know sometimes authors have to take liberty with the details of history, but Weir does it so rarely and its refreshing almost to know that most of what is happening in the story is what happened in real life.

         I encourage lovers of historical fiction to read this book as it is rich in detail and the characters have their own interesting stories to tell. Explore the stories of two lesser known historical figures and embrace the wonderful tale Alison Weir spins for her readers. I don't think you will be disappointed. Great read!

         
Overall Rating: 4/5

Title:  A Dangerous Inheritance
Author:  Alison Weir
Series:  N/A
Publisher:  Ballantine Books
Publication Date:  October 2, 2012
Pages:  544
Genre:  Historical Fiction

Disclaimer: This book was given to me by Netgalley in exchange for my review. I reviewed this book without compensation of any kind. All thoughts and opinions are solely mine.

13 comments:

  1. I read reviews before I read books as well. This book sounds intriguing, I'd love to read a story about the missing princes.

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    1. Ah then maybe I'm not so weird then..lol..I like this one..The princes aren't featured predominately in this one, but a good one surrounding the mystery.

      Kimberlee

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  2. I absolutely must read this book! I love historical novels, and the plot of this book seems to me to be particularly interesting. As soon as I find it somewhere I will definitely read it ;)

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    1. I think that it is definitely worth it..Hope you get to read it soon..Happy reading

      Kimberlee

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  3. Sounds VERY good...thanks.

    Elizabeth
    Silver's Reviews
    http://silversolara.blogspot.com

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    1. No problem..hope you get to this one soon.

      Kimberlee

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  4. Nice review -- will have to add this one to my list. I've read one other book by Weir (a nonfiction book, The Six Wives of Henry VIII) and it was a good one.

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    1. I love Alison Weir's writing style and I love the fact that she mainly sticks to historical fact. That makes all the difference for me. I like both her nonfiction and her fiction works.

      Kimberlee

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  5. I enjoyed this one too.. I was a bit confused with the narrating technique of switching back and forth, but it was still a worthwhile read for me. I think that there are a certain group of readers (factions! just like in the Wars of the Roses!)who lean towards a specific group of historical authors.. which makes them not like the other group of authors. I see it as Borman's, Weir's + Gregory's fans stick together. Their opposing views would be represented by the like of John Guy/Julia Fox. Personally, I read to be entertained and if a novelist can do that then I am happy. I am not out there to disprove theories or have intense debates on supposed facts, I am reading the material as a hobby.
    And I do scan reviews as well through Goodreads friends. I do not stake much emphasis on Amazon reviews however since I don't know them from a hole in the wall and there tends to be tons of nonsense going on over there anyway.

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    1. I tend to look at the reviews for books at Librarything. I also avoid Amazon for some reason, not really sure why. I also feel the same way about reading. If the book is entertaining then I'm sure to love it. Thanks for stopping by.

      Kimberlee

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  6. I also read reviews, and find that it's hit or miss with them. Sometimes when I get a book based on rave reviews and then read it, I'm like "what the hell was everyone thinking?" (That has happened on more than one occasion.)

    I picked up this book, not based on the reviews, but based on the past books of her's that I have read. I thought Innocent Traitor was an excellent book, worthy of repeated reads. But I don't know what happened with this one. Sorry, but I have to agree with some of the reviewers, this is not one of her good ones and it seems almost like someone else wrote it. I am slogging my way through it, occassionally looking down at the location on my Kindle to see how much more I've got to go, even find myself skimming through parts. I can't pinpoint exactly my problem with it is, bordering on it's almost childlike in writing style or like a novice writer wrote it. I am somewhat disappointed in this one. Maybe too it's because I'm reading this on the heels of finishing Sharon Kay Penman? In any event, on Amazon I would give this 3 stars, it was good, but not good enough to grab my attention and be a read-over.

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    1. That's the beauty of reading...everyone reads every book differently. I enjoyed this book, but I will admit that Sharon Kay Penman is the better author. Alison Weir is great for non-fiction and a lot of people have issues with her fiction books. There was one of her books, I can't remember which one now, that I steered clear of even though it got good reviews. It's hit or miss with every book. Sorry you didn't enjoy this one, I seem to have enjoyed it more than others, but what works for me doesn't work for everyone. Hopefully your next read will be better. Thanks for sharing your views.

      Kimberlee

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  7. 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!

    regards,
    charmaine of Janitorial Services Dallas

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