From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.
Weir, a popular English writer with a well-known fondness for the Tudor monarchs, stands with equally secure footing in history and fiction. Her latest book finds her on familiar historical terrain, this time in a fictional journey creatively connecting two time periods by drawing a parallel between two historical personages sharing similar names. Alternating sections, each one only a few pages in length, take readers on an initially dizzying series of abrupt jerks back and forth from Lady Katherine Grey, heiress presumptive to Queen Elizabeth I (a position that, of course, leads to Katherine's discomfort, as the queen is ragingly jealous of anyone who might take the limelight from her), to Kate Plantagenet, illegitimate daughter of King Richard III, whose defeat and death at Bosworth Field brought the Tudors to the English throne in the first place. But as readers grow accustomed to the settings and characters that distinguish the two periods, the transitions back and forth smooth out into an ultimately easily flowing narrative. The primary connective thread is that both women, while onlookers in the deadly game of usurping the throne, spent time in the Tower of London, for no other reason than the threat posed by their royal birth. A novel compelling in its complexity. High-Demand Backstory: Marketing to libraries is only one of the publicity initiatives the publisher has planned for the latest work by this perenially best-selling author.--Hooper, Brad Copyright 2010 Booklist
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Weir's fourth work of historical fiction (after Captive Queen) will leave readers craving more. This fantastic novel revolves around the dark role played by the Tower of London in the lives of four royal prisoners: -Katherine Haute (bastard daughter of Richard, Duke of Gloucester), Lady Katherine Grey (sister to the nine-day Queen Jane), and the boy princes Edward and Richard. Weir follows the two "Kates" from their momentous beginnings, the former when her father becomes king and the latter when her sister is crowned queen, to their inglorious ends after the social fall and demise of their families. Tying the two stories together is the women's desire to know what truly happened to the "princes in the tower," imprisoned there by their uncle, Richard III. VERDICT With its evident in-depth research and creative twists, this tale of two women trying to make sense of the power of the English crown, particularly as it relates to their own fate, is nothing short of riveting. [Academic and library marketing-Ed.]-Audrey M. Jones, Arlington, VA (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.