REVIEW: The Tudor Vendetta by C. W. Gortner
An exceptional way to spend a few hours in another time and place amidst court intrigue, creepy seaside dwellings and espionage rampant among all.
The Tudor Vendetta by C. W. Gortner
Series: The Spymaster Chronicles, Book 3
Category: Historical Mystery
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin (October 21, 2014)
Rated 4 out of 5
Format read: eBook
This fictional tale takes place in 1558, while Elizabeth I prepares for her coronation. The soon-to-be queen sends for one of her spymasters, Brendan Prescott, who has been training under Francis Walsingham for four years while in exile in Switzerland under the direction of his mentor, William Cecil. Brendan left London without an explanation to his sweetheart Kate while she was imprisoned in the Tower with Elizabeth. It wasn’t safe for Brendan to stay because of his own Tudor blood, but even now with his queen about to be crowned, neither friend nor foe shall discover the truth of his royal bloodline.
What makes this historical adventure so much fun is the lead character, Brendan, since the story is told from his point of view in first person narrative. He is prepared to suspect everyone, but is his unwavering faith or suspicion in some misguided?
Brendan assumes he is called back to court to protect his queen when there is an attempt on her life, but Elizabeth has a special mission for him to accomplish in secret. Lady Parry, Elizabeth’s most valued lady in waiting, is missing, after visiting some relatives in Yorkshire. Following the horrors of Bloody Mary’s rule, Protestants and Catholics fear what the next queen will do in honor of her faith. The country is apprehensive and so is the Catholic household where Brendan is sent. He arrives to find the family in mourning and full of secrets. Can he serve his queen and survive this mission? Is there any hope for a future with Kate?
I haven’t read the first two novels in THE SPYMASTER CHRONICLES, but I easily caught on to the storyline in this third book within a few chapters. For those who have read the previous novels, THE TUDOR VENDETTA continues where the others left off and you’ll run into some familiar characters such as Robert Dudley, Brendan’s nemesis and Elizabeth’s court favorite, as well as Kate, Brendan’s sweetheart whom he has forsaken and whom he is sure he no longer deserves, amongst others you’ll recognize and anticipate.
The best part of this novel is that even though there is some court intrigue in the beginning and at the end, a large portion of the novel takes place at the mysterious seaside manor in Yorkshire, as well as devoted to the travels to it from London and back again. The manor house is eerie and fogbound while the inhabitants are eccentric and secretive. The residence and surrounding dwellings exude just the right amount of sinister atmosphere that creates the perfect ambiance for a great mystery.
Author C.W. Gortner’s engaging approach is one that historical mystery lovers will find irresistible. THE TUDOR VENDETTA is exciting and addictive!
Reviewed by Dorine, courtesy of Romance Junkies. ARC provided by NetGalley.
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