Synopsis: 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.
My Thoughts: The Tudor Vendetta is a fantastic end to the Spymaster Trilogy. It is an exquisite mystery filled with secrets and intrigue and is by far my favorite of the three. I was hooked from the first two pages and could not put this book down.
Brendan is a much more mature and well-developed character in this book. When the story begins, he has been away from England for several years and is finally able to return upon the death of Mary I. He arrives in England just as Elizabeth is taking the throne and he is forced to deal with his old nemesis, Robert Dudley and I must say, Dudley is quite the twit in this book. You can't help but hate him which makes him such a good villain. I liked Elizabeth in this book; lately I've read a lot of books where I really just couldn't sympathize with her but I think Gortner does a great job of showing the precarious position she was in when she became queen and making her relatable.
The setting of this book was perfectly creepy; a small manor in the north of England where all kinds of strange things occur while Brendan is there investigating Lady Parry's disappearance. The descriptions of both the surroundings of the manor and it's mysterious inhabitants kept me wondering what secrets the manor held. And boy did it hold a big secret that changed the whole trajectory of the story. While the reader thought Brendan was at the manor for one reason, it is revealed that he is there to deal with an entirely different situation.
The Tudor Vendetta is full of twists and turns and every time I thought I had it all figured out, I was wrong. The story is action-packed and the ending is intense to say the least. I loved every minute of it! I highly recommend The Tudor Vendetta and the rest of the Spymaster Trilogy. 4 stars.
About the Author:
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.
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