The Tudor Vendetta by C. W. Gortner

04_The Tudor Vendetta_Blog Tour Banner_FINAL

Today I’m pleased to be taking part in C.W. Gortner’s blog tour for the release of the third book in his Spymaster Chronicles Series, The Tudor Vendetta.


Winter, 1558: Elizabeth I has ascended the throne but the first days of her reign are already fraught with turmoil, the kingdom weakened by strife and her ability to rule uncertain.

Summoned from exile abroad at the new queen’s behest, Brendan Prescott arrives in London to face his shattered past. He soon finds himself pitted in deadly rivalry with his life-long foe, Robert Dudley, but when a poison attempt overshadows the queen’s coronation, Elizabeth privately dispatches Brendan on a far more dangerous assignation: to find her favored lady-in-waiting, Lady Parry, who has vanished in Yorkshire.

Upon his arrival at the crumbling sea-side manor that may hold the key to Lady Parry’s disappearance, 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, the more he becomes the quarry of an elusive stranger with a vendetta— one that could expose both his own buried identity and a long-hidden revelation that will bring about Elizabeth’s doom.

From the intrigue-laden passages of Whitehall to a foreboding Catholic manor and the prisons of the Tower, Brendan must risk everything to unravel a vendetta that strikes at the very core of his world, including his loyalty to his queen.

The Tudor Vendetta is the third book in Gortner’s Elizabeth I Spymaster Trilogy.

02_The Tudor Vendetta

Publication Date: October 21, 2014
St. Martin’s Press
Formats: eBook, Paperback

Series: Spymaster Chronicles
Genre: Historical Mystery

My Review:

I enjoy historical fiction, but I haven’t read too many that take place during Queen Elizabeth’s time. And the fact that this one revolved around a mystery and a secret agent piqued my curiosity. When I think of spies the first thing that comes to mind is the Cold War. But spies have been used for centuries.

This novel is the third in the series, but it’s the first one that I’ve read. In the beginning I felt a bit lost since characters and events from the previous novels were mentioned quite a bit. However, once I settled into the story and felt like I had a decent handle on what had transpired in the first two I was at ease.

Once I got halfway through the book I refused to put it down before I finished. It starts off a bit slow, but when the action picked up it didn’t stop until the end. I liked the main character Brendon for the most part. At times I felt he was a bit naïve for a trained secret agent and that the author set it up this way to make certain plot points work.

The author proves that he’s quite comfortable describing life and creating characters during the Tudor time period. I wonder how much research he’s done and my guess is he’s done quite a bit. I loved all of the historical tidbits and never felt like the author slipped into a different time period with his language or descriptions. I hate when that happens in historical fiction.

This novel has quite a lot going for it: mystery, romance, brave characters and characters that you love to hate. It was a fun read and I would recommend it to those who like this type of story. And now I’m really curious to read the series from the start.

Don’t just take my word for it. Here’s more praise for The Tudor Vendetta

“Fast paced and exciting, with a most engaging hero . . . So vivid, you feel are there!” – Diana Gabaldon, bestselling author of the Outlander series

“C.W. Gortner has done it again! Full of breathtaking action, dark twists and unexpected revelations, this is an unputdownable read.” – Michelle Moran, bestselling author of Madame Tussaud

“Suspense, intrigue, betrayal and deadly rivalry: What more can you ask for? A swashbuckling, perilous adventure.” – M.J. Rose, bestselling author of The Reincarnationist

Buy the Book

Barnes & Noble

About the Author

03_CW GortnerC.W. GORTNER holds an MFA in Writing with an emphasis in Renaissance Studies from the New College of California, as well as an AA from the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in San Francisco.

After an eleven year-long career in fashion, during which he worked as a vintage retail buyer, freelance publicist, and fashion show coordinator, C.W. devoted the next twelve years to the public health sector. In 2012, he became a full-time writer following the international success of his novels.

In his extensive travels to research his books, he has danced a galliard at Hampton Court, learned about organic gardening at Chenoceaux, and spent a chilly night in a ruined Spanish castle. His books have garnered widespread acclaim and been translated into twenty-one languages to date, with over 400,000 copies sold. A sought-after public speaker. C.W. has given keynote addresses at writer conferences in the US and abroad. He is also a dedicated advocate for animal rights, in particular companion animal rescue to reduce shelter overcrowding.

C.W. recently completed his fourth novel for Ballantine Books, about Lucrezia Borgia; the third novel in his Tudor Spymaster series for St Martin’s Press; and a new novel about the dramatic, glamorous life of Coco Chanel, scheduled for lead title publication by William Morrow, Harper Collins, in the spring of 2015.

Half-Spanish by birth and raised in southern Spain, C.W. now lives in Northern California with his partner and two very spoiled rescue cats.

For more information please visit C.W. Gortner’s website and blog. You can also connect with him on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads,Pinterest, and YouTube.


About TBM

TB Markinson is an American who's recently returned to the US after a seven-year stint in the UK and Ireland. When she isn't writing, she's traveling the world, watching sports on the telly, visiting pubs in New England, or reading. Not necessarily in that order. Her novels have hit Amazon bestseller lists for lesbian fiction and lesbian romance. She cohosts the Lesbians Who Write Podcast ( with Clare Lydon. TB also runs I Heart Lesfic (, a place for authors and fans of lesfic to come together to celebrate lesbian fiction.
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23 Responses to The Tudor Vendetta by C. W. Gortner

  1. Not sure about the book as I’m not into historical fiction although I did enjoy one the other week (Anna Belfrage, The Prodigal Son), so this might be worth a go. I’m pretty up on Elizabethan England as it was our syllabus for A level in sixth form. L

    He piqued my interest with his animal rights advocacy and early years in southern Spain. And of course I want to know exactly where in Spain!

    • TBM says:

      I’ve studied the time period a little, but my focus was on 20th century European history. I do find Elizabeth fascinating. She’s not in the novel that much, though. The mystery surrounds her, but Brendan is the main character.

      I’m always a fan of people who support animal rights. Maybe he’ll pop by and let you know what part of Spain.

  2. That sounds really interesting! There are so many amazing historical series out lately, and it’s quickly becoming one of my favourite genres.

  3. That’s good you were able to keep up even though you didn’t start at the beginning of the series. That’s a tough balance to write – enough for new readers without boring old ones.

  4. Great review and some noteworthy praise. If I read historical fiction, I’d certainly add this to my list

  5. Thanks for the heads-up on this one. I’ve read the first book in the series – and need to catch up. History and period mysteries – perfect march

    • TBM says:

      I need to pick up the first two in the series. This was a lot of fun to read and I have a feeling the others will be as well. Hope you enjoy!

  6. Sounds fascinating. I like historical fiction just f.i.n.e. ❤

    • TBM says:

      For many years, all I read was historical fiction. I’ve branched out quite a bit, but it’s still one of my faves.

      • Historical fiction stories seems to have so much going on in them, so many layers. Haven’t read one for a while but have lots unread and waiting as well as other genres. Sigh. When will I get to them ALL? Thousands of books published every minute. How is a reader to keep up? 😦

  7. Thanks for the great review. So glad you enjoyed the book. I was raised in Malaga, Andalucia; my mother is Spanish, born and raised in Madrid. Appreciate all the comments!

  8. Sherri says:

    I love historical fiction when it takes place during the medieval ages so this book is my kind of thing most definitely! Now that I’ve got my Kindle I’m loading up and this one will definitely be going on ‘the list’. Thanks for another great review TB 🙂

  9. Wonderful review with many great qualities listed. This time period is interesting.

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