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Monday, August 26, 2013

"The Tudor Conspiracy" by C. W. Gortner~Master of Historical Fiction!


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.


Published by:  St. Martin's Griffin
Pages:  329 plus Author's Notes & Reading Group Guide
Genre:  Historical Fiction
Author:  C.W. Gortner
Website:  http://www.cwgortner.com



C.W. Gortner holds an MFA in Writing, with an emphasis in Renaissance Studies. Raised in Spain and half Spanish by birth, he currently lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.

He travels extensively to research his books, and has experienced life in a medieval Spanish castle and danced a galliard in a Tudor great hall.

A contributor to the magazines Historical Novels Review and Solander as well as an advocate for animal

He welcomes readers and is always available for reader group chats.

Please visit him at www.cwgortner.com for more information.  You can also follow Christopher on Facebook and Twitter.


So much fun to read!  This historical fiction/mystery is filled with madcap twists, daring deeds and mayhem in the 1500's.  A great cast of characters who sort out a conspiracy involving both Queen Mary Tudor and Elizabeth I.  I couldn't put the book down, so I read the nearly 340 pages straight through on Saturday!

C.W. Gortner is known for being the master of historical fiction, so there was no question that "The Tudor Conspiracy" would be a good book.  However, I didn't expect it to have this lighter, yet so interesting a plot!  The muddles and turns of fate are not easily assumed, making the story exciting and engaging.  I never saw several of the events happening before they came up!  Loved the mystery of them all.  The ending was especially enjoyable and surprising.

While we know many of the characters from history, the central, created protagonist, Brendan Prescott (Beecham), could have been every bit as real.  Mr. Gortner has created him in full.  He's a living and breathing spy who plays amongst the actual historical figures as if he were one of them.  Amazing characterization.  I fell in love with him, his bravery, and his deductions in the care of both the rivaling Queen and Elizabeth.  In fact, it's the balance of this loyalty that I found endearing.

This is an intriguing court mystery filled with danger and twists of fate.  You'll love the historical characterizations.  While some things are left to Gortner's imagination, of course, they become alive and fleshed out to the point of believability.  Much of what Brendan sees and experiences as he narrates the story touches your heart.  I was especially moved by his seeing Lady Jane Grey in the Tower before her execution.

C.W. Gortner in this mystery genre is as compelling as in his other historical fiction!  I can't wait to read the first book in this series, "The Tudor Secret."   I look forward to more in the series, as well.

5 stars          Deborah/TheBookishDame

*Note:  This review was brought to you in cooperation with Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours
but the review itself reflects only my personal views and opinions.

Please follow the entire Book Tour here:  http://hfvirtualbooktours.com/thetudorconspiracyvirtualtour/

This is the UK cover of the book.  Interesting....  I like it.  It, too, tells a lot about the story inside!



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