Saturday, 11 June 2011

Review - The Tudor Secret by Christopher Gortner

                           Published in the UK by Hodder & Stoughton (6 Jan 2011)
ISBN 978-1444720822

The Blurb

Summer 1553: A Time of danger and deceit.

Brendan Prescott, an orphan, is reared in the household of the powerful Dudley family.  Brought to court, he finds himself sent on an illicit mission to the King's brilliant but enigmatic sister, Princess Elizabeth.  But Brendan is soon compelled to work as a double agent by Elizabeth's protector, William Cecil - who promises in exchange to help him unravel the secret of his own mysterious past.

A dark plot swirls around Elizabeth's quest to unravel the truth about the ominous disappearance of her seriously ill brother, King Edward VI.  With Elizabeth's lady-in-waiting at his side, Brendan plunges into a ruthless gambit of half-truths, lies and murder.

Brendan Prescott, an orphan, tells his story beginning with his journey to London where he has been summoned to serve Robert Dudley at court.  He is unsure why he, an oprhan has been chosen for this role, but he knows it is his chance for a better life. 

He is well educated for an orphan, mainly self taught, borrowing from the library at the Dudley household,    and he tells his story well leaving no detail out.

Once he arrives at court it soon becomes apparent that all is not well.  The King is gravely ill and the Princesses are not safe.  Brendan is asked to become a double agent.  A task that is not without great risks and proves difficult as Brendan does not know what or who to trust.

Brendan also seeks the truth about his own past. 

I have not read any novels in the Tudor period for a while as the style was all too familiar.  This novel  roused my interest in this period again with a fresh angle.  

The author takes a big  "what if" and weaves a mystery with fact and fiction. Without spoiling it for you, the
author has managed, with skill, to make the "what if" believable.   In his own words he says "it is important to remember this is a work of fiction", and I did have to remind myself of the fictional elements as they were so neatly woven into the story.

I enjoyed the way the story raced across London and East Anglia.  The characters real and fictional came to life from the pages of this novel.   There is even time for a little romance in amongst the lies, double crossing, action and murder.

I am ready for the 2nd book in Elizabeth's Spymaster Series.

5 out of 5 for me!



  1. following your blog from goodreads. =)

    Thanks for listing all these great reviews of "adult" books. I've been stuck in YA land for some time now.

    You can check my blog out at if you ever have a need to read YA books.

  2. Flashlight Reader,
    good to see you. That is what I love about blogging and Goodreads, it broadens our reading tastes.



Please leave me a comment. I do love to read your thoughts.