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.
Publication Date: October 21, 2014
St. Martin’s Press
Formats: eBook, Paperback
Series: Spymaster Chronicles
Genre: Historical Mystery
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
About the Author
C.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.