- Paperback: 352 pages
- Publisher: Hodder Paperbacks (16 Jan. 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1444720872
- ISBN-13: 978-1444720877
- Product Dimensions: 13 x 2.3 x 19.7 cm
- Average Customer Review: 67 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 22,603 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Tudor Conspiracy: Elizabeth's Spymaster Two (Elizabeths Spymaster 2) Paperback – 16 Jan 2014
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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)
Gortner has again produced a richly detailed book that is hard to put down. (Historical Novels Review on The Queen's Vow)
Death and double-crossing in Tudor times - the new ELIZABETH'S SPYMASTER novel from the acclaimed author of THE LAST QUEEN and THE CONFESSIONS OF CATHERINE DE MEDICI, writing here as Christopher Gortner.See all Product description
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Top customer reviews
The Tudor Conspiracy contains a nice mix of historical and fictional characters. The book's main character Brendan Prescott is fictional and a great protagonist. He's a very sympathetic character, even when he does some pretty stupid things. While some of his actions could be ascribed to grief, his interactions with Sybilla, one of Mary's maids of honour, killed me; I couldn't believe he'd do that. I loved his squire Peregrine, who is your typical scampy side-kick and Brendan's fiancée Kate. They formed a wonderful adoptive family and their chemistry was wonderful. Gortner's portrayal of Elizabeth and Mary is interesting too. Gortner shows Mary's softer side; he doesn't just show her as the religious zealot responsible for so many deaths that she was nicknamed Bloody Mary. Instead he shows her compassion for others and the way her loyalty to her mother guide her religious beliefs. The more I read about her, the more I pity her. Elizabeth is a mix of a calculated survivor and a lonely girl desperate to have the love of her sister. Gortner's portrayal of the Dudleys surprised me at first, but when I started to think about it I realised that Dudley is often portrayed as a venal and ambitious man, when not shown from Elizabeth's point of view and at least in this book she seems not to be as smitten with him as she's usually shown to be.
The plot is based on a true historical event, the Wyatt conspiracy, is quite interesting - it was also one I wasn't familiar with - and the powers that Gortner positions behind it are somewhat unexpected. In addition to the internal politics, there are also influences from outside who impact English politics--Ambassador Renard and the Spaniards. While seemingly a straightforward marriage proposal from Charles V to bring England back into the Catholic fold through a union between his cousin and his son, Philip had grander plans and played for future stakes as it were. Gortner managed to slip some surprises into the narrative that were very skilful sleight-of-hand and which made the story even more complex and exciting.
The Tudor Conspiracy is a fantastic read, with well-written characters and a captivating plot. Gortner's Tudor Court is a far less glamorous and far more dangerous place than we've seen it portrayed as on both the large and the small screen, but for all that it is far more compelling. I'm planning to check out the previous book, The Tudor Secret, and I'll definitely be along for Brendan's next adventure, The Tudor Vendetta, next year.
This book was provided for review by the publisher.
What follows is a whirl of intrigue and secrets, set among the luxurious silks, tapestries and feasts of court as well as the crowded, dangerous stews of London. Whether the dark streets and brothels of London are any more perilous than the Queen's rooms at court is a moot point. Prescott finds himself up to the neck in both. With him is his young squire Peregrine and the two of them have their work cut out to manoeuvre through the elaborate games of those who surround the Queen and her sister. It's a safe bet that Prescott is not alone in hiding under an assumed name.
The Tudor Conspiracy is the second novel in the Elizabeth's Spymaster series featuring Prescott but if you, like me, have yet to read the first, then this won't affect your enjoyment at all. There are enough clues to fill in any gaps while events that unfold here will have an enormous impact on Prescott's future. There is a feeling throughout that this is the time that counts and everything focuses very much on events at hand. It most definitely stands strong as a standalone novel.
The Tudor Conspiracy is an absolutely marvellous read. Intrigue, adventure, love and lies, it has the lot, all set against the most wonderfully realised background of the court of Mary Tudor and the cutthroat streets of Tudor London. Both real and fictional characters are developed beautifully and interact realistically. Prescott's character is fascinating, made more so as we watch his interaction with Peregrine as well as the ladies of the court. I particularly enjoyed his empathy with animals and those less fortunate than himself, including Lady Jane Grey. There are little moments that reveal a great deal about our hero as well as the times in which he's placed. Among the moments of high excitement and danger there are others that are deeply emotional. The Tudor Conspiracy is not only extremely well written, it has a heart to go with it and I loved it.
This novel is a historical mystery but it succeeds so well because of its historical authenticity and spirit. This shouldn't come as a surprise because, although this is the first novel I've read by Christopher Gortner, I have read a novel by C.W. Gortner, The Queen's Vow, which was a superb piece of historical fiction. The Tudor Conspiracy is every bit as good and I read it in just one very happy sitting. I'm grateful for the review copy.
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