Review: The Tudor Conspiracy by C.W. Gortner

Description (from cover):

‘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 Phillip, 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.’

My thoughts:

I love a suspense novel that can really bring it. I love the thrill of the novel that can keep me on the edge of my seat dying to know what happens next. Gortner has created a novel with that power in this novel. I simply couldn’t put it down. At times it seems a little too much, but there is never a dull moment if you are reading this one. The ending leaves a lot for a sequel and I cannot wait to see how the Tudor court intrigues play out. Gortner certainly has done his homework in this book and its interesting to see his spin on the Tudors. I have read a ton of books about the Tudors and I always appreciate a different view of things. I got that in this book.
Brendan Prescott is the underdog that you root for. He is a flawed character, but I really enjoyed that about him. He seems such a real character and I think Gortner has done a fantastic job in creating this deeply flawed, yet likeable character. I like that this book focuses more on the spying and political intrigue of the Tudor era. It is a fresh spin on a genre that likes to focus mainly on Elizabeth or Mary and how they handled things at the time. I think that Prescott is a well developed character that paints the reader a different picture of how things were really like during that tumultuous time period.
If you like books that have a different view of things, but that will keep you turning page after page, then I suggest you discover this book. I truly enjoyed it and I am glad to see that there is another one in the works. The ending left me wanting to know what happens next and I am curious to see how things play out politically and personally for Brendan’s characters. Of course, with historical fiction, most times the reader knows how the story is going to play out, but it still is intriguing to see how things are in a different light. 

Overall Rating: 4

Title:  The Tudor Conspiracy
Author:  C.W. Gortner
Series:  Elizabeth I Spymaster Chronicles #2
Publisher:  St. Martin’s Griffin
Publication Date:  July 16, 2013
Pages:  352
Genre:  Historical Fiction
Get It:  Amazon; Barnes & Noble

Disclaimer: This book was given to me by the publisher, through Netgalley, in exchange for my honest review. I reviewed this book without compensation of any kind. All thoughts and opinions are solely mine.

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