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The Tudor Secret (Elizabeths Spymaster 1) Paperback – 9 Jun 2011

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The Tudor Secret (Elizabeths Spymaster 1) + The Tudor Conspiracy: Elizabeth's Spymaster Two (Elizabeths Spymaster 2) + The Tudor Vendetta (Elizabeths Spymaster 3)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton (9 Jun. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1444720848
  • ISBN-13: 978-1444720846
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 2.4 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 57,629 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

C.W. Gortner is half-Spanish by birth and his formative years were spent in southern Spain, where his lifelong fascination with history began. After years of working as a fashion marketer and editor, C.W. returned to college to pursue a Masters in Fine Arts in Writing. He lives in Northern California with his partner of thirteen years and their Welsh Pembroke Corgi, and welcomes visitors at: www.cwgortner.com

Product Description

Review

Very highly recommended. (Editor's Choice, Historical Novels Review)

Compelling... a riveting blend of passion, power and betrayal. (Inside Soap on THE LAST QUEEN)

Disturbing royal secrets and court manipulations wickedly twist this enthralling story, brilliantly told. (Publishers Weekly on THE LAST QUEEN)

Book Description

Spies, intrigue and conspiracy in the Tudor court.

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Mrs B on 18 Nov. 2011
Format: Paperback
I really wasn't sure about this book when I bought it, but I am glad that I did. The Tudor Secret is full of intrigue, little plots and big ones, and interwoven ones. Christopher Gortner brings to life how dangerous it was to live in those times. I would thoroughly recommend that you give it a try. I shall be buying the next one in this series - it has got me hooked.
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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful By DizzyC on 11 Jun. 2011
Format: Paperback
Brendan Prescott, an orphan, tells his story beginning with his journey to London where he has been summoned to serve Robert Dudley at court. He is unsure why he, an oprhan has been chosen for this role, but he knows it is his chance for a better life.

He is well educated for an orphan, mainly self taught, borrowing from the library at the Dudley household, and he tells his story well leaving no detail out.

Once he arrives at court it soon becomes apparent that all is not well. The King is gravely ill and the Princesses are not safe. Brendan is asked to become a double agent. A task that is not without great risks and proves difficult as Brendan does not know what or who to trust.

Brendan also seeks the truth about his own past.

I have not read any novels in the Tudor period for a while as the style was all too familiar. This novel roused my interest in this period again with a fresh angle.

The author takes a big "what if" and weaves a mystery with fact and fiction. Without spoiling it for you, the
author has managed, with skill, to make the "what if" believable. In his own words he says "it is important to remember this is a work of fiction", and I did have to remind myself of the fictional elements as they were so neatly woven into the story.

I enjoyed the way the story raced across London and East Anglia. The characters real and fictional came to life from the pages of this novel. There is even time for a little romance in amongst the lies, double crossing, action and murder.

I am ready for the 2nd book in Elizabeth's Spymaster Series.

5 out of 5 for me!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By G. Russell on 27 Oct. 2012
Format: Paperback
"The Tudor Secret" is Christopher Gortner's third novel and like his previous two works, it is set in the sixteenth century. His first, "The Last Queen", was set in Spain; his second, "The Confessions of Catherine de Medici", in France. This time round, Gortner turns his attention to England in the sweltering summer of 1553 when the teenage King Edward VI has disappeared from public view, amidst rumours that his chief minister, the Duke of Northumberland, is hiding the young king away from the public's gaze in the hope of clinging onto power for himself. The king's two sisters - thirty-seven year-old Mary and nineteen year-old Elizabeth - are understandably suspicious, particularly Mary, a devout Roman Catholic who is next in line to inherit the crown if Edward dies without children. Taking it upon herself to discover the truth, Princess Elizabeth journeys to London and it is here, in the sprawling Palace of Whitehall, that she first meets Brendan Prescott, a young equestrian working for the Duke of Northumberland, the princesses' apparent arch-enemy. From this fateful meeting, "The Tudor Secret" spins a truly addictive adventure story around the mystery of Brendan's own identity and Princess Elizabeth's attempts to outwit whatever it is the Duke is planning to do.

Any student of British history will, of course, know that 1553 was the summer that saw Lady Jane Grey's fateful "nine days" on the throne. It is a testament to Christopher Gortner's writing style, therefore, that even though we know the overall outcome, "The Tudor Secret" manages to make the whole thing seem like a cliff-hanger. Even the few tiny unintentional errors - such as a confusion over forms of aristocratic address or etiquette do not really detract from the atmosphere.
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32 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Gella on 17 Feb. 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The Tudor Secret is set towards the end of the Tudor dynasty. Henry VIII's son Edward is King, Mary is consumed with her catholicism and there is the young Princess Elizabeth being courted by Robert Dudley in order to secure his own family and then there is Guildford Dudley his father who is hatching a plot to bring Lady Jane Grey (the nine days queen) to the throne.

The central character is Brendon Prescott, a foundling who is offered a post as Squire to the Dudley family but is then intercepted by Cecil who wishes him to work as his Spymaster. It is essentially a good plot but has been told in many forms and although this was a paced novel, it is at times was rather slow.

Christopher Gortner lives in California and has a degree in Fine Arts Writing and has obviously researched for this book well, bearing in mind that it is a novel. However, despite it being a good sound story I am afraid for me it lacked the 'lustre' and 'atmosphere' of other books in this genre such as CJ Sansom and Rory Clements.

If you wish to 'dip your toe' into a historical novel to see if you would enjoy such a book, then this book is for you.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kindlelover on 16 Sept. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is the first book by Christopher Gortner that I have read. At first I didn't know what to make of the book. The beginning seemed to be a bit rushed. The main character, Brendan Prescott, is a foundling and it seems he is little more than a country bumpkin who finds himself propelled to London where suddenly he is rubbing shoulders with the likes of Cecil, Walsingham, Robert Dudley even the Princess Elizabeth herself etc! When I read about him wandering through a secret passage and hiding behind a tapestry in order to eavesdrop on a mysterious conversation that was not meant for his ears I thought I was reading an Enid Blyton children's novel! However the author does know his history and this story has a superb backdrop of the Tudor era through which he wove a story with some excellent descriptive passages and swashbuckling action!

In fact the story did improve as it went along and there is a good "what if" mystery running through this colourful and interesting period. However I still think of C.J. Sansom as the master of this genre and for me this book really isn't up to his standard. Nevertheless it is worth reading.
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