Title: The Tudor Vendetta
Author: C.W. Gortner
Series: The Spymaster Chronicles, #3
Published: October 2014, St. Martin's Griffin
Format: Paperback, 304 pages
Source: Publisher via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours
Winter, 1558: Elizabeth I has ascended the throne but the first days of her reign are already fraught with turmoil, the kingdom weakened by strife and her ability to rule uncertain.
Summoned from exile abroad at the new queen’s behest, Brendan Prescott arrives in London to face his shattered past. He soon finds himself pitted in deadly rivalry with his life-long foe, Robert Dudley, but when a poison attempt overshadows the queen’s coronation, Elizabeth privately dispatches Brendan on a far more dangerous assignation: to find her favored lady-in-waiting, Lady Parry, who has vanished in Yorkshire.
Upon his arrival at the crumbling sea-side manor that may hold the key to Lady Parry’s disappearance, he encounters a strange, impoverished family beset by grief, as well as mounting evidence that they hide a secret from him. The mystery surrounding Lady Parry deepens as Brendan begins to realize there is far more going on at the manor than meets the eye, but the closer he gets to the heart of the mystery, the more he becomes the quarry of an elusive stranger with a vendetta— one that could expose both his own buried identity and a long-hidden revelation that will bring about Elizabeth’s doom.
From the intrigue-laden passages of Whitehall to a foreboding Catholic manor and the prisons of the Tower, Brendan must risk everything to unravel a vendetta that strikes at the very core of his world, including his loyalty to his queen.
My thoughts: This is the third and final book in C.W. Gortner's Spymaster Chronicles series and it was another exciting read. I love all things Tudor and have read many books set during this time. Because of that, I find that I can really appreciate the historical aspects of the story without getting bogged down by who's who or what was going on. I can focus on and really enjoy the mystery that Gortner has created.
This book picks up four years after the previous one, The Tudor Conspiracy, ends. Summoned home from exile now that Queen Mary is dead and Elizabeth has been named her successor, he is given a new assignment. But, true to form, Elizabeth only gives Brendan some of the details, leaving out quite a bit for him to figure out himself. Elizabeth has too much experience to trust anyone with too much information. He is asked to find out what happened to Elizabeth's lady-in-waiting, Lady Parry, but ends up finding so much more.
I loved the setting and descriptions of Vaughan Hall - it was eerie and mysterious and the fog only seemed to enhance that. Even the inhabitants of the manor were strange and secretive. This all combined to create quite a sinister atmosphere, perfect for creating that mysterious element.
What really strikes me with this book, and even the series as a whole, is how well C.W. Gortner is able to blend fiction with fact. He takes one or two events from history and then plays around with the rumors and scandals that were hinted at during the time, weaving a fun, yet interesting tale. This isn't the first time I've read about one of these supposed rumors, so maybe it wasn't really a rumor after all?
I'm quite saddened that this is the last time we will go on an adventure with Brendan Prescott, but he did give us some great adventures. And who knows? While the ending seemed to tie up loose ends, doesn't an author have every right to revisit those characters he loves? So, maybe this is just the end for now...
Books in this series:
The Tudor Vendetta by C.W. Gortner is on tour with Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours. Be sure to check out the other tour stops to read more reviews, guest posts and some giveaway opportunities. Be sure to follow all the twitter activity, too at #TudorVendettaBlogTour and #HistoricalMystery.
***There is also a tour wide giveaway and the winner will be selected by the tour coordinator. The giveaway is for a complete set of the Spymaster Chronicles Trilogy (see list of books above)!!!
Here are the rules:
- Open to residents of the USA
- Giveaway ends at 11:59pm on November 28th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
- Winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter on November 29th and notified via email.
- Winner have 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.