Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Review: The Tudor Vendetta by C. W. Gortner

London, 1558. Queen Mary is dead, and 25-year old Elizabeth ascends the throne. Summoned to court from exile abroad, Elizabeth’s intimate spy, Brendan Prescott, is reunited with the young queen, as well as his beloved Kate, scheming William Cecil, and arch-rival, Robert Dudley. A poison attempt on Elizabeth soon overshadows her coronation, but before Brendan can investigate, Elizabeth summons him in private to dispatch him on a far more confidential mission: to find her favored lady in waiting, Lady Parry, who has disappeared during a visit to her family manor in Yorkshire. 

Upon his arrival at the desolate sea-side manor where Lady Parry was last seen, 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 in Vaughn Hall, the more he learns that in his zeal to uncover the truth, he could be precipitating Elizabeth’s destruction. 

From the intrigue-laden passages of Whitehall to a foreboding Catholic manor and the deadly underworld of London, Brendan must race against time to unravel a vendetta that will strike at the very core of his world—a vendetta that could expose a buried past and betray everything he has fought for, including his loyalty to his queen.

Received for review.

Not having read the first books in the series I was concerned that I wouldn't be able to fully enjoy this novel but I didn't need to worry.  The author did a beautiful job of introducing the characters so that new readers were quickly brought up to speed.

The story was actually even more interesting for me since I just finished Steve Berry's The King's Deception which is about Elizabeth I.  It gave the story an interesting new dimension and made me enjoy it even more.

This is a beautifully written blend of historical fact and fiction and is so well done that it feels completely authentic and as if you are reading a real account of the events.  Between the court intrigue inside the palace and the adventure outside it's an intelligent, well crafted story that is sure to entertain both fans of the Tudor period and spy story lovers as well.  I definitely recommend this and look forward to future books in the series!

★★★★ = Really Liked It

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