Friday, August 24, 2012

Good, But Not In the Same League With Weir's Historical Non-fiction

Two young women almost a hundred years apart are linked by their desire to know the true fate of the princes in the tower. Kate Plantagenet, illegitimate daughter of Richard III, is a staunch believer in her father. Although many tales point to his guilt, Kate cannot believe in it. Lady Katherine Grey, sister to the ill-fated Lady Jane Grey, becomes interested in the princes when she too is incarcerated in the tower. The link between the two is tenuous, a series of letter discovered by Katherine in an old trunk. Unfortunately, Weir actually made them up so while it makes a good story, there is no historical precedent.

While the book is an interesting historical novel, I found that it dragged. The story toggles between Kate and Katherine and not until the end is there really a connection in their search for the princes' fate. The ladies were primarily observers. Neither was a mover in historical events. Their fates were directed by others. Therefore, a historical novel on either alone would be rather thin. The retelling of the mystery of the princes in the tower, while interesting, is not as well done as Weir's historical non-fiction on the same topic.

I enjoyed the book and would recommend it for anyone who prefers historical fiction to comparable non-fiction, but if you want to see Weir at her best, read the non-fiction works. I've read them all and they are very well done.

I reviewed this book for the Amazon Vine Program.