Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Book Review: The Tudor Secret by C.W. Gortner

The Tudor Secret by C.W. Gortner
Publish Date: February 2011
Format: Paperback 352pp



Synopsis (From the Publisher):
"The era of the Tudors was one of danger, intrigue, conspiracy, and, above all, spies. 
Summer 1553: A time of danger and deceit. Brendan Prescott, an orphan, is reared in the household of the powerful Dudley family. Brought to court, Prescott finds himself sent on an illicit mission to the king’s brilliant but enigmatic sister, Princess Elizabeth. But Brendan is soon compelled to work as a double agent by Elizabeth’s protector, William Cecil, who promises in exchange to help him unravel the secret of his own mysterious past. 
A dark plot swirls around Elizabeth’s quest to unravel the truth about the ominous disappearance of her seriously ill brother, King Edward VI. With only a bold stable boy and an audacious lady-in-waiting at his side, Brendan plunges into a ruthless gambit of half-truths, lies, and murder. Filled with the intrigue and pageantry of Tudor England, The Tudor Secret is the first book in The Elizabeth I Spymaster Chronicles."




My Review:

I first had the pleasure of discovering C.W. Gortner's work last year, with his breathtaking novel, The Last Queen (my review). In just a few chapters, I realized that I had found an author destined to be a favorite of mine. Therefore, when I learned of C.W. Gortner's newest release, I could not have been more excited! And, just like always, I was captivated from the very first page.

The Tudor Secret begins with the return of Brendan Prescott to the Dudley household. Having lived there through his childhood, and having been the subject of the Dudley brothers pranks, Brendan is wary when he is called to be the squire of Robert Dudley. While the animosity is still quite apparent, Robert turns out to be the most mature of the brothers, and for that, Brendan is thankful. However, Brendan's thankfulness is short lived,  for on the very first night of performing his services as squire, he is sent on secretive missions and creates formidable enemies. Thrown into a world of espionage and treachery, Brendan must learn whom to trust and how to navigate his way through the deadly Tudor court.

I could not have been happier with C.W. Gortner's newest creation. The novel unravels at a steady pace and the plot twists are constant throughout. Unlike his former novels, which gave us intense emotional reactions, The Tudor Secret gives a calm reading experience, allowing for the mind to process the mystery, and ultimately increases the shock when secrets are reviled. C.W. Gortner did a fabulous job setting up this series with the end of The Tudor Secret, and, knowing how talented an author he is, I can only imagine what an adventurous journey he has planned for us all.

FTC: I received this book from the publisher. As always, these are my own honest opinions.
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