Title: The Tudor Vendetta (The Spymaster Chronicles #3)
Author: C.W. Gortner
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press (Macmillan)
Release Date: October 21, 2014
Acquired Via: Historical Fiction Blog Tours
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.
I'm going to start out my review by telling you this - any enjoyment that I was lacking in The Tudor Vendetta was completely my fault. In case you're wondering how in the world I could manage that...well...I didn't do my research. I had no idea that this was the third book in a series, and I usually look these things up. That being said, once I got into the groove of this book, I was able to catch up with the plot of this particular installment.
As with any good Tudor novel, there is intrigue, mystery, sex, betrayal, and... Wait, that's not enough? How about I tell you that there's a sexual encounter in the first pages of the book? *waggles eyebrows* Yep, Tudor novel, alright. That may have had a teensy bit to do with why I didn't realize that this book was a sequel at first.
In all seriousness, The Tudor Vendetta had everything that I enjoy in novels set in this era except told a little differently. I really like things told from one of the monarchs' viewpoints or from one of their inner circle. (Brendon Prescott doesn't live with Elizabeth and spend his days with her, so I don't consider him inner circle. Kate Stafford, yes.) That being said, he was an interesting main character, and I liked reading about him and what he did for his queen. I really wish I had read the earlier books in the series so I could see how everything was being tied together in this book. Maybe when I forget about The Tudor Vendetta in a year or three, I'll read the first two and reread this one.
If I can enjoy a book without knowing what's going on at the beginning, then I'm sure that you will love The Tudor Vendetta if you read The Tudor Secret first. C.W. Gortner has quite a few historical novels out, so I'll be giving those a shot in the future, too.
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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.
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Review at The Maiden’s Court
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