The Tudor Secret: Book summary and reviews of The Tudor Secret by C. W. Gortner

The Tudor Secret

The Elizabeth I Spymaster Chronicles

by C. W. Gortner

The Tudor Secret
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  • Published in USA  Feb 2011
    352 pages
    Genre: Historical Fiction

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About this book

Book Summary

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.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Gortner handles action with aplomb, adding a riveting, fast-paced thriller to the crowded genre of Tudor fiction." - Publishers Weekly

"An exciting, vividly rendered story of intrigue and espionage." - Booklist

"A brilliantly executed plot and three-dimensional characters ... this is historical fiction, and very well done at that; very highly recommended." - Historical Novels Review, Editors' Choice

"C.W. Gortner weaves a fast-moving tale of espionage and suspense ... The dazzling cast of characters includes the father of modern intelligence work, as well as one of England's greatest statesmen, and at its heart, the brilliant and enigmatic Elizabeth. Never have spy and counterspy been more challenged, villains more duplicitous, and life for those in power--or hoping to be--more dangerous. A haunting look at the velvet peril of Tudor England." - Margaret George, author of The Autobiography of Henry VIII

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Reader Reviews

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Mary D. (Claremont, CA)

The Tudor Secret
A fast-paced look at Tudor England, after the death of Henry VIII. Very detailed in descriptions of the court, relationships, intrigue among people that are trying to hide the impending death of Edward VI. A good read for anyone interested in this period of English history, with a focus on Elizabeth as a young girl, whose place in the court is uncertain, while the powers behind Jane Grey put her on the throne and then Mary assumes her rightful place. And of course, the character of Brendan Prescott, whose familial line is not what everyone thinks!

Barbara O. (Maryland heights, US)

The Tudor Secret
The author writes an engaging story seamlessly fitting in a fictional character to historical fact. There are a lot of recognized authors in this genre and it's my opinion that C.W. Gortner deserves to be among them.

Brendan Prescott is an inexperienced young man, forced to grow up quickly in a short period of time. He's an engaging hero, hapless and lucky with good supportive characters both real and fictional that give credence to the tale. Underlying the main story is a believable premise that sets the stage for the birth of the earliest known "secret agents", the famous Cecil and Walsingham so important to Queen Elizabeth during her reign.

Highly entertaining, recommend especially to lovers of good historical fiction.

Marci G. (Sicklerville, New Jersey)

Welcome back to historical fiction
In my 30's, I read everything I could about Henry VIII, his wives and children. Until recently I stayed away from this genre. My interest was piqued after reading the synopsis of The Tudor Secret. I loved it! I was invested in the characters, real and those created by the author. The recommended reading, info about the author, historical timeline etc.. Were a nice addition. Looking forward to the sequel.

Barbara B. (New Bern, NC)

THE TUDOR SECRET
I loved the book. I found the story fast paced with page after page of intrigue, excitement and love. At first I thought the "secret" may be a liaison between Brendan Prescott and the Virgin Queen Elizabeth. However quickly I found this historical fiction novel a thrilling spy story.

The plot surrounds the successor to sickly King Edward VI who dies after being poisoned and the mystery surrounding Brendan’s birth and birthright. I have always been interested in the history of the seemingly sinister Tudor reign. The Tudor Secret did not disappoint me. I would recommend this story as a thrilling spy novel whether you are familiar with the history of the Tudors or not. I look forward to reading the next book in the series of the rise of Brendan Prescott as a secret spymaster for Elizabeth I.

Vicky R. (Cumming, GA)

The Tudor Secret
I am a voracious reader of the Historical Fiction genre and this author didn't disappoint me. While it's difficult to create a different take on a subject that has been written and rewritten time and time again, this author brings a certain intrigue and excitement to this story. Take the time to immerse yourself in a period in history steeped in lies, back stabbing and murder...all initiated in the name of greed. This author is able to take you there...to a time and place that makes your skin crawl one minute and will have you applauding the next minute. Bravo!

Barbara R. (Fort Myers, FL)

The Tudor Secret
Loved this book. Anyone who enjoys historical royalty will enjoy this book, Looking forward to the next one,

...38 more reader reviews

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Author Information

C. W. Gortner Author Biography

Photo: Stephanie Mohan

C. W. Gortner, half-Spanish by birth, holds an M.F.A. in writing, with an emphasis on historical studies, from the New College of California and has taught university courses on women of power in the Renaissance. He was raised in Málaga, Spain, and now lives in California.

Author Interview
Link to C. W. Gortner's Website

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