Publication date:: July 16, 2013
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Source: publisher via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours for an honest review
Hunted by a shadowy foe in Bloody Mary’s court, Brendan Prescott plunges into London’s treacherous underworld to unravel a dark conspiracy that could make Elizabeth queen—or send her to her death in C.W. Gortner’s The Tudor Conspiracy.
England, 1553: Harsh winter encroaches upon the realm. Mary Tudor has become queen to popular acclaim and her enemies are imprisoned in the Tower. But when she’s betrothed to Philip, Catholic prince of Spain, putting her Protestant subjects in peril, rumors of a plot to depose her swirl around the one person whom many consider to be England’s heir and only hope—the queen’s half-sister, Princess Elizabeth.
Haunted by his past, Brendan Prescott lives far from the intrigues of court. But his time of refuge comes to an end when his foe and mentor, the spymaster Cecil, brings him disquieting news that sends him on a dangerous mission. Elizabeth is held captive at court, the target of the Spanish ambassador, who seeks her demise. Obliged to return to the palace where he almost lost his life, Brendan finds himself working as a double-agent for Queen Mary herself, who orders Brendan to secure proof that will be his cherished Elizabeth’s undoing.
Plunged into a deadly game of cat-and-mouse with a mysterious opponent who hides a terrifying secret, Brendan races against time to retrieve a cache of the princess’s private letters, even as he begins to realize that in this dark world of betrayal and deceit, where power is supreme and sister can turn against sister, nothing—and no one—is what it seems.
The Tudor Conspiracy is only the second of Gortner's book that I have read, but I have to say, I like his style. The first of his books I read was not the first book in this series, but I didn't feel that was a hindrance. I think things are set up pretty well and reading the previous book isn't necessary for enjoyment.
I was excited to read The Tudor Conspiracy because I enjoy reading about the Tudors and I especially appreciate the fact that Elizabeth I had such a large network of spies during her reign. This book gives a fascinating, if fictional, look at how spies could have been a factor even before she took the throne.
I found Gortner's take on the suspicion, uncertainty, fear and scheming at court to be quite good and probably pretty accurate. It is clear that there is no love lost between Queen Mary and her half-sister, Princess Elizabeth. The many and various players in the court intrigues are fascinating to read about and try to unravel. Even though I know the history involved, there are enough minor and fictional characters that add to the story and keep things interesting and the reader uncertain as to exactly who is on what side and who will betray and who will remain loyal. It was all great fun.
I am actually hoping that Gortner will add another book to the Spymaster series that will have Brendan working for Queen Elizabeth I and include the theater, Shakespeare and Marlowe, naturally - as well as all the political stuff, the various plots, etc. I've pretty much decided to just add all his books to my to be read list, since I have enjoyed both that I have read so far.
I can quite easily recommend The Tudor Conspiracy to anyone who likes historical fiction in general, enjoys Tudor history, English history or just enjoys a good tale.
About the AuthorC.W. Gortner is the author of The Last Queen, The Confessions of Catherine de Medici, The Queen’s Vow and The Tudor Secret. He holds an MFA in Writing, with an emphasis in Renaissance Studies. Raised in Spain and half Spanish by birth, he currently lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.
He welcomes readers and is always available for reader group chats. Please visit him at www.cwgortner.com for more information.
Virtual Book Tour ScheduleTuesday, July 16
Review at Oh, for the Hook of a Book!
Review & Giveaway at The Tudor Book Blog
Wednesday, July 17
Review at The Maiden’s Court
Review at Diary of a Book Addict
Interview at Oh, for the Hook of a Book!
Thursday, July 18
Review at Amused by Books
Review at Ageless Pages Reviews
Friday, July 19
Review at The Broke and the Bookish
Review & Giveaway at Enchanted by Josephine
Interview at The Tudor Book Blog
Monday, July 22
Review at A Bookish Affair
Review at Jenny Loves to Read
Review at A Muse in the Fog Book Reviews
Tuesday, July 23
Review at Bippity Boppity Book
Guest Post at A Bookish Affair
Wednesday, July 24
Review at Confessions of an Avid Reader
Review at A Writer’s Life: Working with the Muse
Thursday, July 25
Guest Post at Confessions of an Avid Reader
Feature & Giveaway at Ramblings From This Chick
Friday, July 26
Review at Sharon’s Garden of Book Reviews
Interview at A Writer’s Life: Working with the Muse
Monday, July 29
Review at Books in the Burbs
Review at Flashlight Commentary
Review at Writing the Renaissance
Tuesday, July 30
Guest Post at Flashlight Commentary
Wednesday, July 31
Review at A Chick Who Reads
Thursday, August 1
Review at JulzReads
Review at CelticLady’s Reviews
Guest Post at A Chick Who Reads
Friday, August 2
Review at Cheryl’s Book Nook
Interview at Bibliophilic Book Blog
Monday, August 5
Review & Giveaway at Peeking Between the Pages
Tuesday, August 6
Review at From L.A. to LA
Review & Giveaway at Luxury Reading
Guest Post at Historical Tapestry
Wednesday, August 7
Review at Review From Here
Thursday, August 8
Review at My Renaissance Movement
Friday, August 9
Review at Always with a Book
Review at Book Lovers Paradise
Monday, August 12
Review at A Book Geek
Review at Bloggin’ ’bout Books
Review at Historical Tapestry & Adventures of an Intrepid Reader
Tuesday, August 13
Review at The Bookworm
Guest Post at A Book Geek
Wednesday, August 14
Review at My Reading Room
Guest Post at Book Nerds
Thursday, August 15
Review at Book Journey
Interview at My Reading Room
Friday, August 16
Review at So Many Books, So Little Time
Monday, August 19
Review at The True Book Addict
Guest Post at So Many Books, So Little Time
Tuesday, August 20
Review at Lost in Books
Guest Post at The True Book Addict
Wednesday, August 21
Review at Broken Teepee
Thursday, August 22
Review at The Eclectic Reader
Guest Post at Broken Teepee
Monday, August 26
Review at Layered Pages
Review at A Bookish Libraria
Tuesday, August 27
Review at Book Addict Katie
Interview at Layered Pages