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A Dangerous Inheritance: A Novel of Tudor Rivals and the Secret of the Tower    by Alison Weir order for
Dangerous Inheritance
by Alison Weir
Order:  USA  Can
Ballantine, 2013 (2012)
Hardcover, Softcover, CD, e-Book

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* * *   Reviewed by Elizabeth Crowley

In A Dangerous Inheritance: A Novel of Tudor Rivals and the Secret of the Tower, Alison Weir presents enthralling stories of two royal cousins separated by time, but united by the tragedy of their fate. The novel begins in 1553 during the reign of the boy King Edward VI. Katherine Grey is astonished to learn that her sister Jane has been named the king's successor. But the Greys are no match for the daughter of Katherine of Aragon. Soon Katherine Grey sees her sister executed and her family ruined. Katherine Plantagenet is the bastard daughter of Richard III. When rumors run rampant that her father had the young sons of Edward IV murdered in the tower, Kate sets off on a journey to uncover the truth about what really happened to the princes.

Although the novel repeatedly transitions between the fifteenth and sixteenth century, Katherine Grey and Kate Plantagenet share a fate that transcends time. When Katherine finds a portrait of Kate, she feels a strange tug towards her distant cousin. Katherine also decides to investigate the fate of the little princes. But as Katherine's story unravels, readers will see how the two royal cousins ultimately suffer the same fate, at the mercy of their royal blood.

The two women were pawns of the royal family. As the daughter of Frances Brandon, niece of Henry VIII, Katherine Grey was rumored to be named Queen Elizabeth's heir. When the aging queen has yet to produce an heir or marry, many look to Katherine for the future of the monarchy. Although Katherine desires the throne, her possible future will cost her not one but two men she loves. Katherine also learns that Queen Elizabeth can be as cruel as her father. When Katherine is imprisoned in the Tower of London, she fears she will suffer the same fate as the little princes.

Although Kate Plantagenet is only the bastard daughter of Richard III, she loves and honors her father. When rumors begin to circulate that he had the two sons of Edward IV murdered in the tower, Kate embarks on an amateur sleuthing investigation which will only lead to heartache and regret as she learns what really happened to the princes. But worst of all for Kate, the reign of Richard III will lose to her the only man she has ever loved. Even after Richard's death, no one dares align themselves with the family of the murderer of the princes.

Anyone fascinated with the disappearance of the princes in the tower cannot miss this book. Although the novel is based on many well documented facts, Alison Weir has created an irresistible page-turner historical mystery. Weir presents her facts in such a provocative ways that readers will feel they are on the verge of a major historical discovery. I loved how the story of Katherine Grey presents a well-rounded view of Queen Elizabeth. Many authors romanticize Queen Elizabeth, but Weir writes Elizabeth as the true daughter of the tyrant, Henry VIII. Alison Weir has become the new queen of historical fiction.

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