First line: Everyone has a secret.
From the back cover: 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.
My thoughts: This is the first novel by CW Gortner that I have read and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The Tudor era is one of my favorites, and already being familiar with what transpired during that time period, I found The Tudor Secret to be a fast read, full of intrigue, excitement, and secrets. It also has a different twist to it than most books set during this time period - a mystery. Why is Brendan, an orphaned boy, suddenly ordered to London and what is the secret of his past? The book is set in the tumultuous time around the death of King Edward VI and the question of succession between his older sister, Mary - to become Queen Mary I - and his younger sister, Elizabeth - to become Queen Elizabeth I. The plot is intricate, full of many twists and turns with characters that are vivid and well-developed - the heroes as well as the villains. We are given glimpses of how servants lived during this time period as well the spy service that came to be extremely powerful during Elizabeth's reign. As a first in a new series, The Tudor Secret has definitely whetted my appetite for more of Brendan's adventures and I look forward to reading the next installment. In the meantime, I will be looking into CW Gortner's previous two books, The Last Queen and The Confessions of Catherine de Medici.
About the author: C.W. Gortner is the author of the acclaimed historical novels The Last Queen and The Confessions of Catherine de Medici. He holds an MFA in Writing with an emphasis on Renaissance Studies from the New College of California. In his extensive travels to research his books, he has danced a galliard in a Tudor great hall and experienced life in a Spanish castle. He is also a dedicated advocate for animal rights and environmental issues. Half-Spanish by birth, he divides his time between Northern California and Antigua, Guatemala.
The Tudor Secret is the first book in Gortner’s The Elizabeth I Spymaster Chronicles series.
You can visit the author online at www.cwgortner.com or his blog at http://historicalboys.blogspot.com/.
I received a complimentary copy of The Tudor Secret by CW Gortner from Pump Up Your Book Promotion as part of the tour.