Historian and New York Times best-selling author Alison Weir is acclaimed for her absorbing works about the infamous House of York and House of Tudor lines. In A Dangerous Inheritance, Weir uses her wealth of knowledge to craft a compelling novel about two women, living 70 years apart, who are linked through the mysterious disappearance of King Richard III's nephews, Edward V and Richard of Shrewsbury - also known as the Princes in the Tower.
©2012 Alison Weir (P)2012 Recorded Books
Choreographer. Director. Actor. Educator. And lover of audio books! They are theatre for the mind!
While the story is interesting, the novel is not quite as well crafted as Weir's three other fiction novels (which are amazing and are must reads). My biggest issue with the book is that I don't know how the two characters and two stories fit together. I feel that the stories would work much better as two separate novels. I feel that the tale of the princes in the tower is a weak through line to connect these two women. It is not that this book is "bad" but when you compare it to Weir's other books it does fall a little flat.
Flip flopping back and forth between the two main women in this book can become confusing. The book, however, was very well written and once you got the knack of the shifting back and forth it was very enjoyable.
I enjoyed the way the story tied two historical characters together who seemingly wouldn't have much in common. Both share a closeness to the thrown (although only one of these women would have had a claim to the thrown) and their lives were tightly controlled because of this tie. Katherine Grey saw her sister killed because her her royal blood, Katherine, too, feels threatened...it is indeed a dangerous inheritance. Both Katherines also share a common need to know what exactly happened to the missing Princess in the Tower.
Because the story jumps back and forth between the two Katherines, I often had to pause and remind myself which one was talking and what I knew about her, before I could continue listening. This going back and forth really hindered my being able to enjoy the story as much...maybe if the voices had been more distinct or something.
Only the narrator
This time in history is my bread and butter. This book is the only one that I might not finish. Among my favorites are The Autobiography of Henry VIII. The Lady Elizabeth, the King's Fool, and so on. In all of these recordings the narrator makes the book.
My only complaint is the narrator. She is like fingernails on a blackboard. I am not sure I can finish it.
These involved historical novels never make good movies. Cate Blanchett as Queen Elizabeth was just terrible. Johnathan Meyers was no more Henry VIII than I am, That series was not worth watching. The only way to portray the people and the era is by way of a good historian and a pleasing narrator and a story that has not been hacked to bits.
The narrator did an ok job with women's voices, but when it came to men's voices she sounded drunk, drugged, or constipated.
Alison Weir is great at non-fiction and should really stick to that genre.
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