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US Publication Date: July 16, 2013
UK Publication Date: July 18, 2013
St. Martin’s Griffin
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.
Review: I've been reading a lot of Tudor books again, but I have to say of my recent reads, The Tudor Conspiracy is one of the best. In fact, it is one of the best I've read in a long time.
It is a great mix of fiction and fact.
This is the second book in the Elizabeth Spymaster Chronicles but it is definitely a good stand alone read. (I will however be getting the first book)
What I loved the most about this story is that its voice is a man. I'm so used to reading Tudor novels told from the point of view of one of Henry's Queens or his daughters, or a lady in waiting etc. It was refreshing to hear a male voice, and Brendan Prescott is just wonderful.
Brendan's character was so full of emotion. He was easy to love. There was a death near the mid-point of the book that is just totally heartbreaking, and I loved that Brendan showed how he felt in regards to the person that passed away.
He's also a character that is full of nobility. He cares more for the people he is working for than the politics. But he is also human, with flaws and weaknesses. I think that's what makes him so likable. He's human.
This book also lets you see both of Henry VIII's daughters...both Queen Mary and Princess Elizabeth and Gortner doesn't try to portray one in a better light than others, which is really unusual.
There are a lot of secrets Brendan keeps I was really not expecting to see so many loose ends tied up considering that this is series, but that said I really am looking forward to the next book.
I highly recommend this to lovers of the Tudor period and historical fiction.