Alison Weir’s A Dangerous Inheritance: A Novel of Tudor Rivals and the Secrets of the Tower is an absorbing historical novel that explores the entwining lives of Kate Plantagenet and Katherine Grey. At first glance, you wouldn’t think the two have much in common other than living in dangerous and scheming times. Kate’s father is Richard III, the infamous king who usurped his nephew for the throne and possibly murdered both of his nephews in the famous London Tower. Katherine’s sister was Jane Grey who snatched the throne from Mary Tudor after the death of Edward VI and was queen for eight days. This means that almost a hundred years separate the girls lives, but both begin to question the deaths of princes in the tower and their fickle monarchs’ rule.
Weir is one of the best historical writers. She does such meticulous research for both her fiction and non-fiction and it really shows in her writing. I never wonder if things are true when reading her fiction because I know she is constantly researching and writing history texts as well. However, I do love it when she gives her own flare to history by writing historical fiction. Her descriptions are so picturesque and detailed that I instantly feel transported back in time. I really loved this novel, but would suggest that you read a few other Tudor and War of the Roses books before reading this book. If you are not familiar with the “big players” of each of the time periods you might find yourself, at times, confused with who is talking and what the overall plot is for that character. That being said, this is a great companion novel to Weir’s past work Innocent Traitor: A Novel of Lady Jane Grey. It was fun to read Katherine’s story after hearing Jane’s. As always, I am sad to finish her book and can’t wait for her next one.